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Simply Scottish Podcast by Andrew McDiarmid

Simply Scottish Podcast

by Andrew McDiarmid

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Scottish history and culture with the best music from Scotland's new and established artists. Your half-hour dose of all things Scottish every other week!


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  • Six Degrees of Scotland, pt. 3: Famous Scottish Americans (Dickson, Garland, Irving)
    Sun, Nov 25, 2018


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    On this episode of Simply Scottish, we continue exploring Scotland's global reach with three more profiles of Scottish Americans. We'll look at inventor William Kennedy Dickson, actress and singer Judy Garland, and author Washington Irving. Plus, great music from Cruinn, Calum Stewart, Iona Fyfe, and others!

  • Six Degrees of Scotland, pt. 2: Famous Scottish Americans (Witherspoon, Reagan, Cash)
    Fri, Oct 21, 2016


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    On this episode of Simply Scottish, we continue testing Scotland's global reach in our Six Degrees of Scotland series. Here, we profile famous Scottish Americans, including actress Reece Witherspoon, president Ronald Reagan, and singer Johnny Cash. Also, enjoy great new music from Mike Vass, Siar, Eddi Reader, and Sarah Hayes!

  • How to Sponsor Simply Scottish and a Profile of David Dunbar Buick (Wee Yin #3)
    Thu, Mar 17, 2016


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    Wee Yins are shorter episodes of Simply Scottish designed to give you a quick Scottish fix! Enjoy the podcast? Here, you'll learn how to become a sponsor of Simply Scottish. With three levels of support, there's a way you can help to expand the reach of the show and ensure the production of new episodes. You'll also hear a profile of Scottish inventor David Dunbar Buick, part of our Six Degrees of Scotland series as featured in The Scots Magazine. Plus, brand new music from Mec Lir and powerhouse band Runrig!

  • Artist Spotlight: Dougie MacLean
    Fri, May 29, 2015


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    Hailed as a "musical hero" by the USA's Wall Street Journal, renowned Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean is the subject of our latest Artist Spotlight! Tune in as Dougie discusses his musical influences, the enduring popularity of Scottish folk music, the impact of the digital revolution on his career, and how a wee song called "Caledonia" became a cultural phenomenon. You'll also hear Dougie's popular tune "The Gael," featured in the 1992 movie The Last of the Mohicans, and a track from his latest album, a collaboration with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Join us as we celebrate one of Scotland's greatest modern musicians!

  • Radio Archive #124: Defending Scotland's Flag, Dundee Cake, & Memories of Leith
    Tue, Mar 31, 2015


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    Before it was a podcast, it was a weekly radio show! On this lively episode of Simply Scottish from the radio archives, hear Member of the Scottish Parliament Adam Ingram discuss a campaign to protect and promote Scotland’s national flag. You’ll also learn how to make the traditional Scottish fruit treat Dundee cake, and co-host Andrew McDiarmid Sr. relives memories of Leith, the bustling suburb of Scotland’s capital city where he was born and grew up. All this plus a healthy dose of traditional and contemporary Scottish music! (Original air date: 1/17/2001)

  • Discovering Dundee
    Wed, Feb 11, 2015


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    Journey with us to Scotland's city of discovery, Dundee. We start by exploring the three industries Dundee was famed for in years past - jute, jam, and journalism. Then we look at the Dundee of today, a hub of culture, biomedical research, media, and artistic innovation. Along the way, enjoy great music from Sketch, Twelfth Day, Deacon Blue, and a classic from Andy Stewart, plus find out how you can sponsor Simply Scottish and help take the show to new listeners around the world!

  • The Historical Novels of Nigel Tranter (Wee Yin #2)
    Wed, Nov 26, 2014


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    Wee Yins are shorter episodes of Simply Scottish. At ten minutes or less, they're a great way to get a quick Scottish fix! On this episode, we profile Scottish author Nigel Tranter, who wrote more than 60 historical fiction novels bringing Scotland's history to life. Learn more about Tranter's life and his unique writing style. You'll also hear a stirring excerpt from one of his most popular books, The Wallace. Plus, enjoy new music from CampbellGray and a haunting tune from Skyedance!

  • The Road Ahead: Scotland After the Independence Referendum
    Mon, Oct 13, 2014


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    On September 18th, 2014, Scotland made history with a referendum on independence. Tune in as we review the results of the vote and how it has forever changed the face of Scotland and the United Kingdom. Will the dream of independence stay alive? What are the powers promised to the Scottish Parliament? Is this the end of the debate or the beginning of an exciting new chapter? Hear music from the newest and brightest artists in Scotland, including Vigo Thieves, Na Seudan Ur, Jane Jackson, and more, plus highlights from a recent issue of Scottish Memories magazine!

  • Scotland in the United Kingdom
    Mon, Sep 15, 2014


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    In celebration of Scotland's historic referendum on independence, we look back at 300 years of union between Scotland and England. From the Union of the Crowns in 1603 to the Scottish National Party's landslide victory in 2011, we highlight the remarkable events that led to what British prime minister David Cameron calls the "greatest merger in history." Plus, enjoy music from Shooglenifty, Robin Laing, Breabach, and more!

  • Andrew's Ten Favorite Scottish Destinations, pt. 2
    Thu, Jul 31, 2014


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    History, natural beauty, and adventure come together in Andrew's Ten Favorite Scottish Destinations. You won't find this list in any guide book! In part 2, journey with us to Stirling, home of the Wallace Monument and an amazing castle experience. Then it's on to the charm of St. Andrews and the thrill of Aviemore, gateway to Cairngorms National Park. We conclude with a trip to the tip of the British mainland, John o' Groats, and a visit to the Isle of Skye in Scotland's western isles. Plus, discover Scotland's role in shaping the Commonwealth Games, and hear some great music from Saor Patrol, Skerryvore, Emily Smith, and more!

  • Outlander: A Conversation with Author Diana Gabaldon
    Thu, Jun 12, 2014


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    What do you get when you throw a young modern-day English woman into 18th century Scotland at the height of the Jacobite Uprisings? An unforgettable story! We sat down with international bestselling author Diana Gabaldon to discuss the inspiration for her popular Outlander novel series, the importance of research, the new Outlander television series, her favorite place in Scotland, and more! Plus, enjoy music in Gaelic from Capercaillie and new songs from Cherry Grove and Ewan McLennan!

  • Growing up in Scotland's Capital (Wee Yin #1)
    Thu, May 08, 2014


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    Wee Yins are shorter episodes of Simply Scottish, between 5 and 10 minutes in length, with a few minutes of commentary on a Scottish topic followed by a great song or tune! On our first Wee Yin, enjoy some recollections of growing up in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh - ice cream vans, riding the city's buses, and the best fish and chips in town! And you'll hear The Referendum, a new tune from Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas that celebrates Scotland's historic choice in 2014. Enjoy this Wee Yin anytime, anywhere!

  • Andrew's Ten Favorite Scottish Destinations, pt. 1
    Mon, Apr 14, 2014


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    Celebrate our 50th episode with us! History, natural beauty, and adventure all come together in Andrew's Ten Favorite Scottish Destinations. You won't find this list in any guide book! From the gems of the capital to the tranquility of the borders, from the gorgeous Hebridean islands to the snowy peaks of the Cairngorms, this is Scotland at its best, as judged by Scottish writer and Simply Scottish host Andrew McDiarmid. Plus, hear a classic from Deacon Blue and enjoy brand new music from Salsa Celtica and Julie Fowlis!

  • Sport in Scotland, pt. 3: Curling
    Wed, Feb 19, 2014


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    Join us as we illuminate the history of curling from medieval pastime to modern sport! Just what is curling, and how did it become the popular Olympic event it is today? From the purpose-built ponds of Scotland to the frozen reaches of Canada, from Chamonix to Sochi, celebrate with us this curious mix of athleticism, skill, and strategy on ice. Hear the Curler's Grace, discover the Scottish island where the world's curling stones are made, and enjoy some great Scottish music from Capercaillie, Fiona Mackenzie, Elaine Meyer, and more!

  • Six Degrees of Scotland, pt. 1: Electricity
    Wed, Jan 29, 2014


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    It's electric! In a new series called Six Degrees of Scotland, we explore Scotland's connections to the world. On this episode, learn five different ways to connect Scotland to the history and development of electricity, from the groundbreaking work of James Maxwell and Lord Kelvin to the innovation of James Bowman Lindsay, Thomas Edison, and others. Plus, enjoy highlights from the latest issue of Scottish Memories Magazine! We'll explore the transport issue including trams, buses, trains, and more. Listen to great music from new Gaelic quartet Cruinn, the latest from Blazin' Fiddles, the sound of the pipes, and more!

  • Scotland's Global Empire: An Interview with Author Jock Gallagher
    Mon, Jan 13, 2014


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    Roman Empire. British Empire. Scottish Empire? We've all heard of Carnegie, Muir, Lipton, and Connery. Discover all the lesser-known Scots and their lasting contributions to the world in the new book Scotland’s Global Empire. Author Jock Gallagher shares highlights of his book with us and explains his challenge in bringing so many stories together to weave a compelling case for a global Scottish empire.Enjoy music from Rura, Kilmarnock Edition, Eddi Reader, and more!

  • A Simply Scottish Christmas
    Sat, Dec 21, 2013


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    It's the most wonderful time of the year, and we're celebrating the season Scottish-style! Enjoy a great selection of Scottish Christmas music, including bagpipes, Celtic hymns, and a brand new Christmas single from popular Scottish band Deacon Blue. We'll discuss what the phrase "Simply Scottish" means, and you'll hear from my father Andrew McDiarmid Sr. as he shares memories of a childhood Christmas in Scotland in a clip from our radio archives. All this and more awaits you in A Simply Scottish Christmas!

  • Simply Scottish Radio Archive #71: Isle of Arran and Muriel Spark
    Thu, Nov 28, 2013


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    From 1999-2001, Simply Scottish aired as a weekly radio show on stations in the U.S. and Canada. The program, hosted by Andrew McDiarmid Jr. and Sr., was recorded live at the Classic 88FM Studios in South Texas. On episode #71, we welcomed in the year 2000 with a great selection of Scottish and Celtic music, a look at the Isle of Arran in an ongoing feature called Scotland's Small Wonders, and a discussion of the work and life of author Muriel Spark. Enjoy the banter of the two Andrews and a healthy dose of all things Scottish on this episode from our Simply Scottish Radio Archive!

  • Sir Thomas Lipton: Businessman Extraordinare, pt. 2
    Mon, Nov 11, 2013


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    In part 2 of our profile, we look at Lipton the tea baron and avid yachtsman! By age 40, Lipton had built a grocery empire across Great Britain. In the 1890s, he added tea to his product line, introduced America to his teas, and soon boasted great blends at unbeatable prices, direct from the tea garden to the teapot! We'll also explore Lipton's passion for yachting and his valiant attempts to win the prestigious America's Cup trophy. All this plus great new music from Maeve O'Boyle, Capercaillie, Runrig, and a classic from The Alexander Brothers!

  • Sir Thomas Lipton: Businessman Extraordinaire, pt. 1
    Sat, Sep 07, 2013


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    Discover the remarkable story of one of Scotland's most successful businessmen, Sir Thomas Lipton. In part 1, we profile Lipton's rise from assistant in his parents' store in Glasgow to overseer of a grocery market empire with over 300 stores all over Great Britain! We reveal the secrets of his success and the innovative methods he used to make his company a household name. Why did he move to the United States as a teenager? Why did he return to Scotland? What does the world's biggest cheese have to do with his stores? Find out all this and more, plus the personal recollections of Andrew McDiarmid Sr. and a great selection of Scottish music from Sir Harry Lauder, David Francey, Coreen Scott, and more!

  • Moments in Scottish History, pt. 2
    Mon, Aug 05, 2013


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    This episode features more finalists from our Moment in Scottish History contest, highlighting key events in Scotland's history. Discover how the Scottish Highlands changed forever with a look at the Battle of Culloden and the Highland Clearances. We'll also revisit the moment Skara Brae was discovered, one of the oldest prehistoric settlements in Europe. Other moments include George IV's visit to Edinburgh, a Scottish expedition to the Antarctic, the plight of the Suffragettes, World War II, and the construction of the Forth Road Bridge. Enjoy music from Breabach, Catriona MacDonald, Moira Kerr, and more!

  • Moments in Scottish History, pt. 1
    Sat, Jun 29, 2013


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    Take a journey through Scotland's history on this episode of Simply Scottish, featuring finalists from our Moment in Scottish History Contest. What happened to Rome's 9th Legion after they marched into the wild lands of Caledonia? Learn about the famed footprint at Dunadd, seat of the ancient kings of Dalriada. Discover the significance of Dun Nechtain and Athelstaneford, two key battles in early Scottish history. Relive important moments in the life of Robert the Bruce, and uncover important truths about the Massacre of Glencoe and the Act of Union with England. All this plus music from Sandy Meldrum, The Paul McKenna Band, The Corries, and more!

  • Scottish Poetry & Song, pt. 3
    Mon, May 20, 2013


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    Enjoy a great selection of Scottish poems and songs in part 3 of our series! Learn more about the fiery poet, editor, and political activist Hugh MacDiarmid and how he revived interest and awareness in the Scots language and Scottish literature. Hear MacDiarmid read from "The Kind of Poetry I Want" during a visit to New York in 1969 and enjoy a selection of his work. You'll also meet Robert Service, the Bard of the Yukon. Hear about his adventures in the Canadian and American West and why he was hailed as the people's poet. Also, poems by Andrew McDiarmid and Stewart Conn, plus music from Session A9, Emily Smith, Ewan Robertson & Gary Innes, and more!

  • The Scots in Canada, pt. 1
    Mon, Apr 29, 2013


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    Perhaps no country has been influenced by the Scots more than Canada. On this episode, learn the fascinating story of the Scots who helped build early Canada. You'll meet Simon McTavish, founder of the North West Company, who at one time controlled a majority of the fur trade business in the Canadian territories. We'll look at the expeditions of Alexander MacKenzie, the first explorer to blaze a trail from Canada's interior to the mighty Pacific. And you'll learn about two Scots who helped safeguard Canada's bilingual and cultural heritage. Discover how the Scots laid the groundwork for a new nation! All this plus music highlighting Canada's Scottish musical heritage, including Leahy, Mary Jane Lamond, the Chris Norman Ensemble, and more!

  • Rob Roy MacGregor
    Fri, Apr 05, 2013


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    To understand the famous highlander Rob Roy, you must first understand the times in which he lived. On this episode of Simply Scottish, we separate the man from the myth. Discover the troubling period of Scottish history into which Rob was born, including the story of the covenanters and the conflict between king and church. Learn more about the clan system and how Rob Roy quickly gained a reputation for himself as a man of courage and conviction. Even amidst the toughest times, Rob remained true to his family and clan, and his story can be an encouragement to us all. All this plus music from David Warrack's Rob Roy: The Musical, Kim Edgar, Alasdair Fraser, and more!

  • The Bay City Rollers, John Napier, and Grand Pianos
    Mon, Mar 11, 2013


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    Hailed as the biggest band since The Beatles, the Bay City Rollers became global sensations in the mid-1970s with their bubblegum pop and tartan trousers. Learn more about their journey through stardom on this episode of Simply Scottish, another Scottish Three. Along with rollermania, we'll also look at Scottish mathematician John Napier, whose contributions to mathematics include logarithms and a more efficient system for making calculations. Finally, discover how Scotsman John Broadwood helped invent grand pianos and hear how Ludwig van Beethoven thanked the craftsman after receiving one of his instruments as a gift. All this plus music from Deacon Blue, Rory Butler, Skipinnish, and more!

  • David Douglas: Nature's Collector
    Mon, Feb 11, 2013


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    On this episode of Simply Scottish, teacher, naturalist and writer Jack Nisbet discusses the life and legacy of 19th century Scottish botanist David Douglas. In a short but eventful career, Douglas collected and introduced to Europe over 200 plant species, including the Douglas Fir for which he is named. Nisbet is author of two books on Douglas - 2009's The Collector and 2012's David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work. Nibset's unique insight helps us understand who Douglas was as a Scotsman, a nature lover, and a collector for the Royal Horticultural Society in an age of global discovery and exploration. Enjoy period music by F.P. Hill & John Longman, as well as Alasdair Fraser and a modern-day David Douglas!

  • Sport in Scotland, pt. 2: Golf
    Tue, Jan 15, 2013


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    Although the origins of golf are widely debated, the game developed and matured in Scotland. On this episode of Simply Scottish, the latest in our Sport in Scotland series, we explore the history of golf. Learn how golf advanced from a short stick and ball pastime to the majestic game it is today. Discover golf's greats with our profiles of past and present players, including Old Tom Morris, Dorothy Campbell, Willie Anderson, and Colin Montgomerie. And join in as we look at Scotland's top golf courses, from the Old Course of St. Andrew to Gleneagles, site of the 2014 Ryder Cup. All this plus music from Sketch, Battlefield Band, Alistair Ogilvy, and Olympic Swimmers.

  • Across the Forth
    Tue, Dec 11, 2012


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    For almost 800 years, the only way to cross the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh and Fife was by ferry boat. In 1890, the Forth Rail Bridge opened, a marvel of Victorian era engineering. Learn about this majestic landmark and how it revolutionized transportation between the lowlands and highlands of Scotland. We'll also look at the Forth Road Bridge, an essential transit link for central Scotland, and details of the new Forth crossing, due to be completed in 2016. Enjoy music from Deacon Blue and Capercaillie, as well as songs about the Forth bridge by Radio Big Band and Robin Laing.

  • Scotland in Film
    Sun, Nov 18, 2012


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    Enjoy a short history of Scotland in film on this episode of Simply Scottish. From the earliest depiction of Scotland in 1895 to the cutting-edge animation behind Disney/Pixar’s Brave in 2012, we look at over a century of movies set in Scotland and the actors and filmmakers who brought them to life. Learn about Scotland’s contribution to early cinema and find out how a homegrown film industry developed in Scotland in the 1970s. All this plus music from The Proclaimers, Mark Knopfler, Dean Owens, and Face the West.

  • The Scottish Borders, pt. 3
    Thu, Oct 18, 2012


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    Take another trip to Scotland's Borders in the concluding episode of our series exploring this beautiful region of Scotland! Visit border towns like Selkirk, Jedburgh, Kelso, and Eyemouth. Find out where William Wallace was named Guardian of Scotland and learn more about the Battle of Flodden, one of Scotland's bloodiest conflicts. We'll also visit Berwick-Upon-Tweed, whose colorful history is symbolic of its place between two nations. All this plus music from Isla St. Clair, Manran, Rachel Newton, and Deacon Blue!

  • The Scottish Borders, pt. 2
    Sun, Sep 30, 2012


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    Discover the majesty of Scotland's Borders in part two of our series! On this episode, we pay a visit to Abbotsford House, the inspiring home of Sir Walter Scott. We'll also take a closer look at the beautifully preserved ruins of Melrose Abbey and the charming town of Melrose that lies around it. Then on to Galashiels and the Yarrow Valley, where you'll meet two more of the border region's famous sons, poet and writer James Hogg and explorer Mungo Park. All this plus music from newcomer Panda Su, Gaelic band Daimh, The Proclaimers, and more!

  • The Scottish Borders, pt. 1
    Sun, Sep 16, 2012


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    An introduction to Scotland's Borders on this episode of Simply Scottish, the first in a series. From sweeping valleys and heather-clad moorlands to emerald forests and rocky coastline, the Borders is a land of contrasting beauty. Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott loved this part of Scotland and paid homage to it in a number of his poems and novels. Learn more about Scott's life and work and discovery the majesty of the Borders region. Enjoy music by Kilmarnock Edition, Sharon King, Innes Watson, and more!

  • Caledonia: A Celebration
    Tue, Sep 04, 2012


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    What's in a name? On this episode of Simply Scottish, discover the history behind the name Caledonia. Did you know the Romans never conquered Scotland despite numerous attempts? They just couldn't subdue the Caledonii, a fierce Pictish tribe occupying the wild lands of Caledonia. Learn their story and find out the many different ways the name is used today, from football teams to exotic islands. Plus, enjoy a short conversation with my three-year old daughter Caledonia! All this plus some great Caledonia songs - join the celebration!

  • An Interview with Brave Director Brenda Chapman
    Tue, Aug 21, 2012


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    A conversation with the artist and storyteller behind Disney/Pixar's animated film Brave on this episode of Simply Scottish! Discover the inspiration behind Chapman's idea of a Scottish fairytale and how she helped bring the movie to life! With 1998's The Prince of Egypt, Chapman broke new ground in Hollywood as the first female director of a major animated motion picture. She's worked on several Disney films, from The Little Mermaid to The Lion King. She helped establish Dreamworks Animation, and now, she has given Pixar their first female lead character, the fiery Scottish lass Merida! Listen to the interview along with beautiful music from Julie Fowlis, Anna Murray, and more!

  • John Muir: Nature's Defender
    Thu, Aug 09, 2012


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    The Father of America's National Parks is the subject of this episode! Enjoy an intimate look at John Muir, born and raised in Dunbar, whose passion for and undying commitment to the natural world caused millions to look at nature in a new light. Discover one of the animal stories Muir loved as a child in Scotland. Find out about the work accident that changed his life. Learn why he turned down a professorship at Harvard University. And see how you can continue the work of John Muir today. All this plus music from Brother, Dean Owens, the Black Irish Band, and more!

  • All About Tartans
    Sun, Jul 08, 2012


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    Learn things you never knew about tartan on this episode of Simply Scottish! Did you know America's FBI has its own tartan? Or that there was once a time when Highlanders were put in prison for wearing their plaid? Find out which tartan has been to the moon and back and discover more of the history, significance, and global appeal of tartan! All this plus great music from Salsa Celtica, Andy Stewart, Giveway, and others!

  • Scottish Myths and Legends, pt. 3
    Sat, Jun 30, 2012


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    What's a wulver? Find out in part 3 of our series on Scottish Myths & Legends, in celebration of the Disney/Pixar movie Brave! Learn more about Scotland's famous coronation stone, the Stone of Destiny. Can it be traced all the way back to Biblical times? Was it brought to Scotland by Scoti, an Egyptian princess? We'll also discuss the life of 13th century laird and prophet Thomas the Rhymer, and we'll take a closer look at those ghostly lights known as Will o' the wisps. All this plus new music from The Proclaimers, Wolfstone, Capercaillie, and more!

  • Scottish Myths and Legends, pt. 2
    Fri, Jun 22, 2012


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    More of Scotland's myths and legends in part two of our series celebrating the Disney/Pixar animated movie Brave! Did you know a spider may have been responsible for Scotland securing its independence from Edward I of England? Find out how as we explore a famous legend of Robert the Bruce. And was King Arthur and Camelot actually based on Scottish history? We'll look at where the historical evidence points on this week's show. We'll also journey to the Hebrides for a visit to Scotland's Stonehenge - the Callanish Standing Stones. All this plus great music from Fred Morrison, Realtime, Carolyn Currie, and more!

  • Scottish Myths and Legends, pt. 1
    Fri, Jun 15, 2012


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    Join us as we celebrate the release of Disney/Pixar's animated movie Brave with a look at Scotland's folklore, myths, and legends. In part one of a series, find out about the mythological creatures that inhabit Scottish lochs and rivers, including the kelpie, the selkie, and loch monsters like Nessie. We'll also look at the translations of Scottish poet James MacPherson, who gathered together fragments of Scotland's ancient folklore in the 18th century. You'll hear the Scottish Gaelic song by Julie Fowlis that's featured in trailers for Brave as well as songs from Ewan Robertson, Wolfstone, and Karan Casey.

  • Scottish Poetry and Song, pt. 2
    Fri, Jun 08, 2012


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    Enjoy more verse from Scotland’s poets in part two of our Scottish Poetry & Song series. Hear selections from Scottish National Poet Liz Lochhead, appointed Scots Makar for 2011-2016. We’ll also share work from Alasdair Paterson and Christian Milne. Our poetic journey will take us into that glorious space of learning and inspiration we call the library. We’ll get a teacher’s perspective on kids who are considered troublemakers and we’ll get a glimpse into the difficult but rewarding life of an 18th century Aberdeen mother, wife, and poet. Also, music from the Peatbog Faeries, Manran, Karen Matheson, Phamie Gow, and Deacon Blue.

  • Sport in Scotland, pt. 1: Highland Games
    Fri, Jun 01, 2012


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    Highland gatherings with games, piping, and dancing have been a Scottish clan tradition for centuries. On this episode of Simply Scottish, the first part of an ongoing series on Sport in Scotland, learn more about the history of highland games within Scotland and beyond. Discover the connection between highland games and the modern Olympic Games. You'll also enjoy new music from Dean Owens, the Paul McKenna Band, Runrig, and the City of Washington Pipe Band!

  • The Incomparable Sean Connery
    Thu, May 24, 2012


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    From milkman to megastar, Scottish actor Sean Connery is the subject of the latest episode in our series profiling Famous Scots. We discuss some of his best films, as well as the ones he never appeared in! Did you know Connery almost had a career as a professional footballer?Find out how and hear a great selection of music from Julie Fowlis, The Proclaimers, Florie Brown, and more, plus a rare recording of a Sean Connery impersonation that you'll only hear on Simply Scottish!

  • Scotland's Historic Landmarks, pt. 1: Linlithgow Palace and Skara Brae
    Fri, May 18, 2012


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    Visit landmarks of Scotland’s history on this episode of Simply Scottish. Discover the work of Historic Scotland as we journey to two of the top historic attractions in Scotland today – the magnificent ruins of Linlithgow Palace and the breathtaking prehistoric village of Skara Brae, a World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved Neolithic villages in Western Europe. All this plus great music from Blair Douglas, Dougie Maclean, Old Blind Dogs, and more!

  • Pioneers in Scottish Medicine
    Wed, May 09, 2012


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    Scots have made significant contributions throughout the history of medicine and health. On this episode of Simply Scottish, we look at the achievements of three pioneers in particular – Joseph Lister and his revolutionary use of antiseptic, Elsie Inglis and her dedication to women’s health and war-time medical aid, and Alexander Fleming with his life-changing discovery of penicillin. You’ll also enjoy great Scottish and Celtic music from Runrig, Niamh Parsons, The Clumsy Lovers, and more.This and all future episodes of Simply Scottish are dedicated to my mother Samantha McDiarmid, who passed away on April 18th, 2012. She embodied what it meant to be "simply Scottish" and was the biggest fan of Simply Scottish. I know she's still listening.

  • The Scots in America
    Sat, Apr 07, 2012


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    Profiles of Scottish-Americans who made significant contributions to a young United States on this episode of Simply Scottish. Learn more about Tam Blake, the first recorded Scot in the New World, Founding Father John Witherspoon, Navy captain John Paul Jones, and naturalist John Muir. We'll also look at the history and significance of National Tartan Day in the U.S. and Canada. Enjoy music from Karen Casey & John Doyle, Capercaillie, Natalie MacMaster, and more.

  • Scottish Poetry and Song, pt. 1
    Sat, Mar 31, 2012


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    Enjoy poems from Scotland's writers past and present on this episode of Simply Scottish, with selections from Robert Louis Stevenson, Edwin Morgan, Iain Crichton Smith, Kathleen Jamie, and others. Embark on a journey from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, from a child's bed to a lonely moor. Along the way, listen to music from Alasdair Fraser, Fiona MacKenzie, Runrig, and others.

  • Artist Spotlight: Maeve O'Boyle
    Thu, Mar 22, 2012


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    The story and song of Scottish singer-songwriter Maeve O'Boyle is featured on this episode of Simply Scottish. Born and bred in Glasgow of Irish parents, O'Boyle began singing at an early age, eventually gaining mainstream attention at Celtic Connections in 2006. An acclaimed debut album followed in 2009, and O'Boyle is now working on her follow-up. She spoke to Simply Scottish about her musical roots, creating a first album, and what she likes to do outside of music. You'll also hear some great music from O'Boyle's debut album All My Sins.

  • Ireland & Scotland, pt. 2: Shared Celtic Culture
    Thu, Mar 15, 2012


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    Explore the close ties between Ireland and Scotland on the second of a two-part series on the common bonds of these two prominent Celtic nations. Discover the shared Celtic culture of Ireland and Scotland with examples from politics, sport, the arts, food and drink, and more. You'll also enjoy a great selection of Celtic music from Liz Carrol, Niamh Parsons, Jean-Yves Le Pape, and others!

  • Ireland and Scotland, pt. 1: Celtic History and Language
    Fri, Mar 09, 2012


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    In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, this episode kicks off a two-part series exploring the connections between Ireland and Scotland, two Celtic countries whose histories and cultures are interwoven. Learn about the six Celtic nations and their ancestors from continental Europe. Hear musical examples of Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and discover what is being done today to preserve cultural and linguistic traditions. All this plus great Irish and Scottish music from the Chieftains, Capercaillie, Maeve O’Boyle, Altan, and more!

  • The Royal Mile: St. Giles Cathedral and the Scottish Parliament
    Fri, Mar 02, 2012


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    A castle, a palace, a cathedral, and more! Explore Edinburgh's Royal Mile on this episode of Simply Scottish! The magnificent St. Giles Cathedral has been a focal point of Edinburgh's faithful for hundreds of years. Learn some surprising facts about the High Kirk of the capital city. And what do you get when you combine the vision of a world-class architect with Scotland's landscape, history, and culture? Learn about one of Edinburgh's most distinct buildings, the Scottish Parliament. All this plus music from Heidi Talbot, Old Blind Dogs, Runrig, and more!

  • J. M. Barrie: The Man Behind Peter Pan
    Thu, Feb 23, 2012


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    "All children, except one, grow up." So begins the classic story of Peter Pan. On this episode of Simply Scottish, discover the story behind the story as we look at the life of 19th century Scottish author James Matthew Barrie. Fact and fiction merge together in a tale of personal tragedy and triumph. Hear a selection from Peter Pan, as well as some great Scottish music from the Trashcan Sinatras, Patrick Street, Emma Christian, Leahy, and more!

  • Scottish Roots of Gospel Music and the Clan Houston
    Thu, Feb 16, 2012


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    The Scottish roots of Gospel music and the Clan Houston are explored on this tribute to singer Whitney Houston. Hear an example of the Gaelic psalm singing style that evolved into the “call and response” technique found in gospel music. Learn how the Houston clan made their mark on America, and hear contrasting examples of the song Whitney sang in her first public performance. All this plus music from Capercaillie, John Richardson, Paul Machlis. and more.

  • The Artistic Duo: Charles Rennie and Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh
    Thu, Feb 09, 2012


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    Discover the artistic vision and creativity of renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his artistic muse Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh. Part of the Glasgow Style that influenced art movements throughout Europe, the Mackintosh's collaborative output is still admired and cherished today. Enjoy a great selection of Glasgow-themed music that celebrates this remarkable couple, including songs from Mike Katz, Blair Douglas, and Deacon Blue.

  • Exploring Scottish Cuisine, pt. 3: Drinks & Sweets
    Thu, Feb 02, 2012


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    Scotland’s sweets and most popular drinks are the subject of this episode, our third in a series exploring Scottish cuisine. Learn about the sweet treats the Scots savor, including boilings, tablet, macaroons, and other goodies. You’ll also hear from Andrew McDiarmid Sr. about three of Scotland’s most enduring drinks – tea, IRN-BRU, and whisky. Hear music from Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, Niamh Parsons, Runrig, the Old Blind Dogs, and more.

  • The Life and Legacy of Robert Burns
    Thu, Jan 26, 2012


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    Scotland's most famous poet, Rabbie Burns is celebrated the world over for his Scots and English language poetry. More than just a writer, Burns is part of our social consciousness today and embodies the ideas we continue to hold dear, including the equality of humankind, liberty, and brotherhood. Tune in to learn more about Burns' life, loves, and legacy. Listen to stirring arrangements of Burns' songs from Eddi Reader, George Duff, Phil Coulter, Mae McKenna, Alan Reid & Sylvia Barnes.Visit the podcast section of www.simplyscottish.com for links to Burns books and websites.

  • Lulu, the King James Bible, and the Bicycle
    Thu, Jan 19, 2012


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    Scottish innovation and creativity have benefited the world in many ways. On this episode of Simply Scottish, we look at just three of Scotland's contributions - the inimitable Lulu, the best-selling King James Bible, and the pedal-driven bicycle. Did you know Lulu was barely into her teenage years when she started singing publicly? Or that it took a team of several dozen translators seven years to produce their new English translation of the Bible under King James? And if people considered early velocipedes a thrill, wait until they saw what Kirkpatrick Macmillan came up with! All this plus music from The Silencers, Lulu, Niamh Parsons, and more!

  • Andrew Carnegie, Empire Builder
    Thu, Jan 12, 2012


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    A rags to riches story that typifies the American Dream...tune in as we explore the life of Andrew Carnegie on this episode of Simply Scottish, part of an ongoing series on famous Scots and their contributions to the world. Learn about Carnegie's humble childhood in Scotland and how a combination of hard work, ingenuity, and providence would help him achieve unparalleled success as a businessman and philanthropist during America's industrial age.

  • Modern Dishes & Shortbread: Exploring Scottish Cuisine, pt. 2
    Thu, Jan 05, 2012


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    What do people in Scotland eat today? What's a Scotch pie? Do restaurants in Scotland serve traditional or modern dishes? Why is shortbread called "short" bread? Tune in to this episode of Simply Scottish, the 2nd in a series exploring Scottish cuisine. Enjoy music from Capercaillie, Phil Cunningham, the Bluebells, and more!

  • The Scottish New Year: Hogmanay & Edinburgh Castle
    Fri, Dec 30, 2011


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    On this episode of Simply Scottish, find out how people in Scotland ring in the New Year! Learn all about Hogmanay - traditions, key events, and more. We'll also take a closer look at Edinburgh Castle, the most visited tourist attraction in Scotland. Hear music from Dougie Maclean, The Band of the Black Watch, Leahy, and others, all on this episode of Simply Scottish.For a full episode playlist and links to previous episodes, visit www.simplyscottish.com.

  • Christmas Traditions in Scotland
    Thu, Dec 22, 2011


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    On this episode of Simply Scottish, explore how Christmas is celebrated in Scotland. We'll look at the history of the holiday and discuss examples of traditions that have stood the test of time. Take a break from the hustle and bustle, sip something warm, and tune in to this special Christmas edition of Simply Scottish.This episode features music from Aine Minogue, Deacon Blue, Robin Spielberg, and Andrew Young.For current and past episode playlists and links, visit the podcast section of www.simplyscottish.com.

  • Exploring Scottish Cuisine, pt. 1: History & Influences
    Thu, Dec 15, 2011


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    On this episode of Simply Scottish, the first of a series on Scots Cuisine, we explore the history and development of Scottish food from medieval times to the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. You'll find out how the plates of the wealthy and titled differed from those of farmers. We'll take a closer look at Scotland's national dish, haggis, and discuss the characteristics and common ingredients that make Scots cuisine distinct and appetizing.This episode features music from Runrig, Ian Bruce, and Alasdair Fraser.For current and past episode information, including music and resource links, visit the podcast section of our website at www.simplyscottish.com.

  • From Radio Show to Podcast: The Best of All Things Scottish...Again!
    Wed, Dec 07, 2011


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    On this inaugural episode of Simply Scottish in podcast form, host Andrew McDiarmid speaks with his father, Andrew McDiarmid Sr., about the experience of starting and producing a Scottish radio program in South Texas in 1999. For three years, the father and son duo shared the best of all things Scottish - music, features, commentary, and interviews - with audiences in Texas, northern Mexico, and later Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Ontario, Canada.Returning to the airwaves in a new podcast format in 2011, the future looks bright for this entertaining and informative program. Tune in to our first episode and enjoy the best of all things Scottish!This episode features music from The Proclaimers, Florie Brown, and Enya.For current and future episode information, including music and featured links, visit www.simplyscottish.com. Stay updated about new podcasts and prize giveaways by liking Simply Scottish on Facebook!

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