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Robbie Shepherd

Robbie Shepherd

Born: 1936 in Dunecht
First Book: A Dash O’ Doric: The Wit and Wisdom of the North-east (Canongate, 1995)
Awards: MBE for services to Scottish Music and Culture; Hamish Henderson award for traditional music; M.Univ from Aberdeen University for services to Scottish culture.

Robbie Shepherd was born and raised in Dunecht just outside Aberdeen. He has been an avid fan of Scottish music since he was a boy and remembers his father returning home from the city with the latest hits from his favourite musicians such as Robert Wilson, Kenneth McKellar and Jimmy Shand, who Robbie had the honour of joining in the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2006. In his younger days Robbie playing the moothie in a band, and on one occasion the band was fortunate enough to support Calum Kennedy.

However, despite his passion for music Robbie became best known for his mastery of the Doric language, the medium in which he wrote a column for the Aberdeen Press and Journal. He wrote over fifty columns reflecting on current affairs, books and films, drawing an enthusiastic crowd of followers. Birlinn published Robbie Shepherd’s Doric Columns as one volume in 2006, and also commissioned Robbie to co-author the Dash O’ Doric series with Norman Harper.

Robbie has remained a constant figure in the public eye, commentating on the Grampian games circuit since the 1960s and travelling the UK as concert compère to the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, including a performance at the London Albert Hall. In 1981 he became host of the longest-running radio programme in Scotland, Take the Floor, winning over listeners with his broad accent and enthusiasm for music.

Robbie’s devotion to Scottish culture and commitment to its traditions has not gone unnoticed. He has been awarded the title Master of the University by Aberdeen University for his services to Scottish culture, particularly in the North-east. Among his many prestigious awards, Robbie has been honoured with an MBE for services to Scottish music and culture. He received the Hamish Henderson award for services to Traditional music in 2006, and his efforts have also been recognised by the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Picture by Kate Sutherland