The Proclaimers Biography

This Scottish duo, who specialize in melodic folk pop, comprises identical twins Craig and Charlie Reid (5 March 1962, Leith, Scotland) The brothers spent their childhood in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty in Fife, and formed the Proclaimers in 1983. They had an early UK hit in 1987 with the Gerry Rafferty -produced ‘Letter From America’, whose belligerent harmonies offered a strikingly modern take on traditional folk music. Follow-ups included the typically boisterous ‘Make My Heart Fly’ and ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’. Pete Wingfield was brought in to produce Sunshine On Leith, after which the duo took a two-year sabbatical. Writing for the third album was disrupted, however, when they spent much energy and money ensuring that their beloved, debt-ridden Hibernian Football Club did not close down. In common with many fans, they are now shareholders.

The Reids reappeared in 1990 with the King Of The Road EP. The title track, a cover version of the old Roger Miller song, came from the movie The Crossing. Other tracks on the EP, which reached the UK Top 10, included the folk/country classic ‘The Long Black Veil’. On the back of the unexpected success of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’, which reached the US Top 5 in 1993 after featuring prominently in the Johnny Depp movie Benny & Joon, their comeback album Hit The Highway enjoyed commercial success in America.

Following their mid-90s success the duo once again disappeared from the public’s immediate view, although it later emerged they were looking after their critically ill father. Seven years were to pass before their next album (2001’s Persevere) was released. The album was released in Europe on the brothers’ recently formed label, Persevere Records. The Proclaimers have continued to release high quality albums through Persevere and remain a popular touring act. In March 2007, they returned to the top of the UK charts with a charity re-recording of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ featuring comedians Peter Kay and Matt Lucas.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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