The legendary Will Starr was born William Starrs in the little mining village of Croy in Stirlingshire on 27th April 1922. Will was second eldest son in a family of five girls and three boys and it was along with his sister Rose, at the age of nine, that he started off on the road to success. At the small go-as-you-please village talent competitions of the time Will played the melodeon and Rose sang. These competitions were one of the highlights of the year for the host community and would attract competitors and large audiences from surrounding districts and beyond.
Will cut his first 78 single for Parlophone in the 1940s on a Stradella Cooperativa. It was an own composition in a Continental waltz style and at that point in time was unnamed. Asked what it was to be called Will settled for the name of his current girlfriend and the unforgettable Jacqueline Waltz entered the Scottish Dance music repertoire. It was the first of two dozen 78s he released on that label and about ten LPs on the Thistle and Pye labels.
It was on tour with Robert Wilsons White Heather Group that most people first came into contact with the strikingly handsome, clean-cut young Will Starr. Immaculately dressed the kilt or occasionally trews for his many stage appearances he created the image remembered today. Bearing in mind that his music was entirely unaccompanied, Will was still able to captivate both musicians and non-musicians alike with his blistering performances on what had previously been seen only as the humble melodeon.
Will Starr, truly King of the Scottish Accordionists.More on Will Starr