Will Starr


b. 1922    d. 1976

Born William Starrs at Croy, Dunbartonshire he took up the melodeon at a very early age, following in the footsteps of his father. Before his teens he was performing with his sister in “go as you please” talent competitions around the local villages and is said to have picked up much music by listening to local brass and Salvation Army bands. Left school in early teens to become a professional musician and undertook work at Glasgow’s Empress Theatre.

In 1939 he worked at Gartshore coal mine and during the war that he met singer Robert Wilson, and joined the White Heather Group. Will cut his first 78 single for Parlophone in the 1940s the first of two dozen 78s he released on that label and of about ten LPs on the Thistle and Pye labels.

He had an affection for Continental accordion pieces by composers such as Peguri, Emile Vacher and Toralf Tollefsen.

In the late 1940s undertook the first of his regular tours of Canada and America with South Africa and Hong Kong. His outfit The Royal Clansmen broadcast regularly on TV throughout the 1960s and by 1965 he also acted as feed man to Alec Finlay in comedy routines.

Woodland Flowers

Dance music played on accordion by Will Starr. Piano accompaniment by Harry Carmichael.

From 78 rpm disk Parlophone F.3432 CE 13434. Tune by Felix Burns.

This tune exists in the Irish tradition as Mrs Kenny’s Barndance. See: http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/1603.