Tributes have been paid to one of the leading lights of Aberdeen’s music scene who has died at the age of 88.
Ally Dawson entertained legions of locals during his six decades behind the microphone at pubs and clubs across the Granite City.
His musical career took off while he was a waiter at the Swan Bar in Loch Street where he would sing when he was not busy behind the bar.
Ally also provided the regular entertainment at the Cloverleaf Hotel in Bucksburn where he was the resident singer and earned himself the nickname ‘The Legend’ during his time as a singer.
Before that he played at the Tivoli Theatre, the Cosy Corner in Market Street and the Donview in Bridge of Don.
He made his musical debut at the age of 12 when his father urged him to join the band playing at a family wedding at the Embassy Rooms.
After impressing with his traditional Scottish song Ally went to join the Billy Kelman Band and played with them at venues across Aberdeen.
He died at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on May 21 after being admitted to hospital following a fall and succumbed to a chest infection and sepsis.
Ally’s second eldest son Colin Dawson, 60, said his late dad always wanted to be involved with music and went on to enjoy great success on the local scene.
Colin said: “His father used to write music and he always wanted to sing.
“He started off singing when he was a waiter at the Swan Bar back in the 60s. They used get him up singing when he wasn’t busy.
“It just escalated from there into the pub scene and then he did a lot of clubs.
“He would turn his hand to anything. He would pack a club or bar and everybody would stay until the end to hear this last song Holy City (Jerusalem).
“It is an old song and that was his final song every night he sang. The crowd would never leave him.”
Ally grew up on Sandlands Drive in Hilton and carried out his national service in Germany where he rode a motorbike.
Away from music he was a lorry driver with plumbing firm Lawson and Turnbull. He would get up to start work at 3am and would them perform the same night often doing this six days a week. He was latterly a taxi driver.
He was married to Helen Dawson and they had three children Kenny, Colin and Alan. Ally also had two Sean and Vicky from another relationship and was a step father to Michelle, Angie and Frankie.
Ally was a grandfather of 15 and with two of them currently expecting and he had six great grandchildren.
He was generous and raised money for various charities with his performances and even cycled from Banchory to Aberdeen to help raise funds so a young girl could buy a wheelchair.
For the last 15 years Ally lived with his partner Louella Kemp at their home in Cairncry Road and the pair travelled all over the world together.
They visited New York City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, India, Holland and Germany.
Louella, 81, said Ally always had time to speak to people who would recognise him from his performances in the city and he would be “greatly missed.”
She said: “He was an energetic man and he loved all his family. He loved all his kids and grandkids. A nice man.
“He spoke to everybody because they had seen him sing in clubs and he stop and speak to them in town.
“He was very friendly and had a great sense of humour. He had a lot of things for going for him and he will be sadly missed.”