Roger Cairns started singing at a very early age and hasn’t stopped since. He sang at his aunt’s wedding when he was three years old. He sang in the church choir. Every year, he sang at the local residents association Christmas party. He sang at school and was 12 when he was awarded the Robert Burns Prize for excellence in the singing of Scottish songs. That’s what Roger knew, that’s what he loved, and that’s what he decided he was going to do when he turned 9: he was going to become a singer.
Flash forward 50 years and Roger is in Los Angeles, California, singing with a 20-piece jazz orchestra. His musical path out of the Scottish projects was circuitous, to say the least: it took him from crawling over English rooftops installing television antennas to delivering refreshments to the Beatles; from taking helicopter trips to North Sea oilrigs to organizing outdoor stunt spectaculars in Saudi Arabia, from impromptu visits by the KGB to the birth of his three children. And yet, though life frequently got in the way and Roger had to put his musical career on hold several times over the years, never did any of his experiences feed his soul the way music did and nothing ever replaced his love of singing.
Roger was born in the small coal mining village of Gilmerton, a suburb of Edinburgh, in 1946. Not surprisingly, Roger’s talent and his penchant for music were neither nurtured nor welcomed by his family in a post-war Britain more concerned with survival than entertainment. So when he was 15 years old, Roger was sent off to complete a five-year mining engineering apprenticeship with the National Coal Board.