When I first met Harry Barry he was singing a song about a train. It was 1980 and the modernisation of Glasgow’s old Victorian subway was complete. Harry’s quasi music-hall ditty marked the occasion impressively in a radio programme. It also kicked off our long association on recording projects ending with his sudden death in 2013.
As singer, songwriter, producer, drummer and seasoned composer of jingles he was a prolific talent and left a substantial body of work from which the 12-minute song medley here is derived. He was also possessed of a well honed comedic touch. Some of that is fondly remembered here too.
With Scotland not having much of a recording industry, those with Harry’s particular skills - studio chops essentially - were invariably thrown back on their own resources, devoted to the recorded work purely as art-form, appreciated or not. He used to refer to this wryly as an affliction but nevertheless remained driven by it, committed and productive to the end. He left the studio that Sunday night after yet another session and was gone by the Tuesday. A missed presence indeed.