Sydney Devine grew up in the Lanarkshire village of Cleland where his father was a miner. He was known around the village as the boy whistler and soprano. His talent was recognised by Kathleen Garscadden of “Children’s House” who got him a spot on television in London, that was followed by eight years touring with the White Heather Group. “We’d all get together in the second half but really we were all individual artistes. I was billed as “The Tartan Rocker” – God forgive me! It was a heady start for a young lad. Later he was to buy a guitar to emulate his hero, Elvis Presley.
Sydney often found himself on the road with the late Alex Harvey, the singer who was to form the sensational Alex Harvey Band. He was Scotland’s answer to Tommy Steele and a guy in his group “Joe Moretti” got me interested in country music, he sang “Moanin’ The Blues” and I said where did you get that song from? He told me that it was by Hank Williams, so that song gave music a whole new slant for me. Soon Sydney was performing country songs himself.
On a visit to South Africa Sydney was heard by a record producer who offered him a contract. That record found an outlet in this country, thus began Sydney’s recording career although it was still hard going. Gradually Sydney began to perfect his act, singing more and cutting down on the jokes, his audience seemed to like this, word spread and soon he was filling halls wherever he played and after he had been in the business for almost twenty years newspaper columnists began talking about “this new discovery”. Radio Clyde offered him a programme and the Devine band wagon took off. “Absolutely Devine” was the title of his long running programme. He’s been known to get 400 requests in a week. I’d say that the most requested songs of mine were “The Answer To Everything” and “How Great Thou Art” I never managed to get through all the requests.
It is not surprising to discover that Sydney Devine is a top selling British Country music performer. Major concert venues, Box office records and 20 albums (include “Crying Time”, “Live from the City Hall Glasgow”, “Double Devine” and “Devine Time”) that have sold over five million copies, together with his move into the world of music video with “From Scotland With Love” and “Devine Country” have served to reinforce that fact.
Not one to sit back and let the world pass him by, Sydney reached the top ten in both the music video charts and the country album charts with The Big Country Line Dance Party.
The New Album
“When I Stop Dreaming” – all new recordings with a mix of country and seasonal classics includes recordings with The Glasgow Phoenix Choir. The Glasgow Phoenix Choir will also be making a special guest appearance with Sydney on his winter show at The Glasgow Pavilion Theatre and appear with Sydney in a special Christmas DVD which will be released in November.
Recently awarded an MBE his autobiography “Simply Devine” was published last year and stirred a national press reaction.