5th March 1962

The Proclaimers are born in Leith

Twins Craig and Charlie Reid earned themselves a place in musical history when they released Letter from America in 1987 and hit number three in the UK charts. In 1988, they followed up with I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), which earned them similar success as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

Letter from America

Letter From America, which appeared on their debut album, This Is The Story, was produced by Baker Street singer Gerry Rafferty and dealt with a number of interrelated political issues, including the Highland Clearances and Scottish emigration to North America.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) appeared on the duo’s second album, Sunshine on Leith, which peaked at six in the UK album charts and number two in Australia. The same album also featured Cap In Hand, which reached number six in the Scottish Singles Chart in early September 2014 (climbing from 96 the week before) on the back of the referendum on Scottish independence. As the Official Charts company website noted, the song includes the line “I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land – cap in hand”.

Scottish independence

The brothers have long been supporters of Scottish independence. On 9 June 2014, The Independent quoted them saying that “Scotland has huge national resources, with its people, its wave power – all the possibilities that this country has… we need to take charge of our own affairs.”

Sunshine on Leith inspired both a play and a film, the latter of which was one of the UK’s highest grossing independent films of 2013.



Other events that occured in March

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