Pipe Major John McLellan DCM of Dunoon, wrote more than 160 memorable melodies & songs, and I'm sure everyone will have their own particular favourite.
'The Road to the Isles' is without a doubt his most popular tune though he also wrote the tunes to the popular songs 'Lochanside' and 'Freedom Come All Ye'. Originally titled 'The Bens of Jura' and also 'The Burning Sands of Egypt'.
'The Road to the Isles' first made a huge impact with the public way back in 1925 and 1926, when the world famous Scottish singer Sir Harry Lauder released his version of the number on the flip side of his 78 rpm disc. The A side featured the popular song titled 'Keep Right On To The End Of The Road', but 'The Road To The Isles' became just as popular as the song on the A side, and since then its become one of the most popular Scottish melodies ever.
Over the years, this iconic tune has been recorded by many famous Scottish recording stars, choral groups & pipe bands including artists & groups like Andy Stewart, Moira Anderson, Kenneth McKellar and The Glasgow Phoenix Choir.
'The Road to the Isles' has definitely endured the test of time, as have many of Pipe Major John McLellan DCM's other melodic compositions including:
Bonnie Dunoon, Bloody Fields of Flanders, The Paps of Jura, Mary Darroch,
Cowal Gathering, Dream Valley of Glendaruel, Glen Caladh Castle, The Highland Brigade at Magersfontain, The Sheiling, The Taking of Beaumont Hamel, and South Hall to name a few!
In fact, many of Jock's tunes continue to be performed by pipe bands from Scotland & beyond, and tunes like 'My Home Town', 'Colonel McLean of Ardgour' 'Lochanside' and 'Freedom Come All Ye' have also made a big impact on the Scottish and British traditional/folk music scene to this day, with hugely popular groups & artists like The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, The Battlefield Band, Calisaig, North Sea Gas and Skipinnish recording their renditions of his music!
Now Jock's music catalogue can also be enjoyed online as music websites like YouTube & Spotify feature solo artists, groups & pipe band recordings of his most popular works. To date I've found more than 60 recordings of P/M John McLellan DCM's music on Spotify. There are also literally hundreds of versions of 'The Road To The Isles'. So, it looks like we will be hearing lots of Jock's great melodies well into the future on these international music platforms.
A number of Jock's photos which appear in this website and on my Spotify Playlists were found online, and also at the fine websites belonging to Pipingpress.com, Bagpipe.news and The Cowal Highland Gathering.
My sincere thanks to Pipingpress.com Bagpipe.news and The Cowal Highland Gathering for allowing me to use their photos.