top of page
1975 - Frank Dobie.png

“Elliot brought his impressive voice To Ye Cronies dinners in the 60s, providing pleasure both as a solo artist and as a member of our embryonic choir. Entertaining us well into his 90s, his “road to Mandalay” is legendary within the club.”

[Reflections of John Watson, 1986 & 2000]

Trained by George Henshall, a student of German composer Johannes Brahms, the Bass-Baritone Francis (Frank) Elliot Dobie was widely known for his love of Scottish song.

With a career stretching over 80 years, Elliot’s voice was known across all corners of the nation and entertained audiences over dinner functions, concerts, TV and radio broadcasts.

It is fair to say, given Elliot’s lengthy career and passion for music, Ye Cronies had an honorary member that truly reflected the values of the Club.

 

Recognising the value of his talents in bringing together and uplifting the spirit and morale of crowds, Elliot plied his trade in support of Glasgow’s societal problems, such as when he became the conductor of the Guild of Aid’s choir. With the Guild’s aim to help the women and children of the Gorbals, Dobie’s presence and voice would no doubt brought a smile to many people facing tough times.

 

Following the Second World War, Elliot setup a studio in Motherwell where he offered musical tuition and was responsible for honing the voices of many singers including Robert Wilson, Sydney Devine MBE, and Bill McCue OBE

A consummate professional, Elliot’s eye for a performance was always razor sharp, as fondly remembered by Bill McCue in an interview he gave in 1995:

“‘Let me give you a wee tip. Where would you sing in this room?’

When I said I didn’t know Frank replied: ‘There's only one spot,

see under that bright light, that's the place to be'“

 

Mr. Dobie lived a long and fruitful life, passing away at the age of 96 on 7th January 1983. Incredibly, he remained highly active on the music scene right up until his dying days.

 

“Don’t give up the singing until your voice goes, and your voice will never go if you look after it”

F. Elliot Dobie (c. 1975)

Elliot’s love of Scots music in particular made him a favourite at Burns Suppers, several chapters of the Mason’s appointed him their “Grand Bard”, and it was reported in 1977, at the age of 91 that he had supper bookings for the next five years!

 

In an interview with John Watson (Cronies Concert Director in Dobie’s latter years), he rated Frank’s final performance at Ye Cronies as one of his all time favourites—a rendition of “The Road to Mandalay” in 1981 when Dobie was 95 years old.

 

A talent for music clearly ran in the Dobie family as his grand-daughter, Fiona Dobie, became a successful soprano, and even performed with her great-uncle on television in the late 70s. Frank’s son, Stanley, would become our Club President in 1978, and his grandson, Fergus, remains a “Past Member” at the time of writing, having joined the club in 1982.

bottom of page