WHO do you think is the Greatest Glaswegian of all time? This summer we are showcasing the top 50 men and women who have put the city on the map.

Once they have been revealed, we will be holding a public vote to find the winner. Today we feature two of the greatest creative minds in Scotland: music legend Alex Harvey, and journalist and writer Catherine Carswell.

Alex Harvey

ALEX Harvey was known for being sensational and was once voted as “Scotland’s answer to Tommy Steele”.

He is best remembered as the frontman of The Sensational Alex Harvey band.

A Scottish rock and blues musician during the era of Glam Rock in the 1970s, Harvey was born in Kinning Park in 1935.

Alex worked a good few jobs before finding his niche, from carpentry to waiting tables to carving tombstones.

Glasgow Times:

First performing in skiffle groups in the 1950s, Harvey and his Big Beat Band opened for Johnny Gentle and “His Group” at the Town Hall in Alloa, which turned out to be the Beatles.

The opening nigh turned out to be the biggest audience of the Beatles’ seven-date tour of Scotland.

From 1958 to 1965, Harvey was the leader of Alex Harvey’s Big Soul Band, playing blues and rock songs and touring the UK and Germany.

Alex was in the unique position where could flit between his mastery of two completely different muscical genres: British RnB, and rock and roll.

In 1967, Harvey became a member of the pit band in the London stage production of the musical Hair, which he did for five years. He came into his own in 1972 when he formed The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, which produced a succession of highly regarded albums and tours and even had a cult following in the US.

Harvey was married twice and had two sons, one from each marriage. In 1979 he was travelling to a gig in Belgium, when he died of heart failure – a day before his 47th birthday.

In 2012, a rowan tree was planted in his memory on the grounds of the People’s Palace museum by his son, Alex Harvey Junior, and the remaining members of the band.

Catherine Carswell

CATHERINE Carswell was a journalist and writer, and started her writing career as a literary critic at our sister title, the Glasgow Herald. Catherine is now known as one of the women who took part in the Scottish Renaissance, and her writing is seen as integral to Scottish women’s writing in the early 20th century.

Born in Garnethill in 1879, Catherine was well-acquainted with art and feminism from a young age despite her merchant families strong Evangelical background. Spending her childhood in the vicinity of the Glasgow School of Art, essentially the beating heart of Art in Glasgow, Catherine took evening classes.

In 1901 she attended English Literature classes at the University of Glasgow, and although she was considered a star pupil, she could not as a woman be awarded a degree. Among her professors were the writers Walter Raleigh and Adolphus A Jack.


Marion Gilchrist and Mark Knopfler in the running to be crowned Greatest Glaswegian

In 1908, Catherine made legal history when her marriage with Herbert Jackson was dissolved after she established that he was insane before their engagement. In order for the dissolution, Catherine had to prove that he was insane at the time of marriage and unaware of what he was doing.

Catherine started her literary career working as a critic for the Glasgow Herald around 1913. Around this time, she became a close friend of D H Lawrence, the controversial modernist writer. She lost her job at the Herald for publishing a favourable review of Lawrence’s banned book, The Rainbow, but continued in journalism as dramatic critic for the Observer.

Catherine’s first novel, Open the Door! Was published in 1920 for which she won the 250 guinea Andrew Melrose Prize. Although by no means autobiographical, the story of a Glaswegian girl called Joanna, resembles in many ways her own life in search of independence.

Another novel, The Camomile, was published in 1922, but Carswell became much better known in 1930 when her fictional biography, The Life of Robert Burns was published to much outrage. This controversial account of the Scots bard, which did not shy away from his political or romantic dalliances - was met with attack from Burns Clubs and sparked sermons in Glasgow Cathedral, as well as a bullet arriving in the post with a letter asking Carswell to make the world a ‘cleaner place’ by killing herself.

Catherine died in 1946 of pleurisy in Oxford, and to this day is known as a woman integral to the both the suffrage movement in Glasgow and Scotland’s literary Renaissance.