1962:  Sir Jimmy Shand goes to Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE

It was 60 years ago this month that one of Fife’s greatest sons went to Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 11:02 am

Sir Jimmy Shand was the music maestro - the Scottish accordion legend whose career spanned seven decades and saw him sell millions of records.

Together with his wife, Anne, he travelled to London for the investiture in December 1962 - a huge moment for the man born in East Wemyss.

A knighthood followed in 1999.

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Jimmy Shand and his wife Anne at Buckingham Palace in 1962

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The son of a farm ploughman, he was a remarkable band leader, composer and performer who is remembered to this day with a life-size statue in Auchtermuchty where he lived.

He became a full-time musician after World War Two, and, on New Year's Day 1945 he made his first broadcast on the BBC.

That started a career in music which saw him perform night after night in a schedule which put most bands to shame.

Jimmy Shand at Leith Town Hall with Scottish stars Kenneth McKellar and Elizabeth Robson in 1959

As well as touring the UK he went to Australia, New Zealand and north America where his jigs and reels found a huge audience.

Shand also enjoyed chart success with the Bluebell Polka in 1955 - just one of more than 330 compositions credited to him.

He went into semi-retirement in 1972, and was knighted in 1999 for his services to Scottish music.

Sir Jimmy passed away at the age of 92 on December 23, 2000.

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