Taken from the CD Booklet of Songs,Stories and Piping from Barra. 2010
Calum Johnston was born in the island of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, in the year 1891. He grew up on his fathers croft near Castlebay, along with his sister Anna and six other brothers and sisters. In time Anna became a schoolteacher in Castlebay, while Callum moved to Edinburgh where he worked as a draughtsman with Bruce Peebles Industries Ltd, upon retirement, Calum returned to Barra and lived with his wife, Peggy, at Eoligarry in the north end of the island. He died, suddenly, while piping the coffin of Sir Compton MacKenzie to its grave in violent weather in December 1973.
Both Calum and Annie were amongst the informants consulted by Mrs Kennedy Fraser when she was collecting the tunes and texts which later formed the basis of "Songs of the Hebrides" and Annie in particular was a valued collaborator in various scholarly undertakings, particularly those of Dr J.L. Campbell.
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