Fran & Anna
Fran & Anna
By:, Categories: Words & Images, 4 comments



I give you the rarity of one of the few unculled albums belonging to Fran & Anna – the Coatbridge siblings who make The Krankies look good.  They were the very epitome of the kitsch heather-and-haggis approach to Scottish light entertainment that I grew up with, always looking as if they had just stepped off the lid of a nearby shortbread tin.


What they lacked in vocal ability (and believe me, it was much) they more than made up for in, well, their plaid sartorial appearance. Loudly dressed in their trademark mini-kilts, bespoke tartan bunnets, and fishnet tights, Fran & Anna were easy targets for mockery. But then again, mockery is what made them.


As the Prince Sisters in the 1950s and 60s, they gained a loyal overseas following performing cheesy standards in the music hall and international cruise circuits. It was not until the 70s, and their metamorphosis into Fran & Anna, that they found success. They became household names when Jack McLaughlan, the self-styled Laird O’Coocaddens, made them a regular feature in his STV early 1970s Scottish country dance show Thingummyjig, where he constantly described them with jibes of ”the gruesome twosome” and ”the bags in drag”.


Leica M3 & 2/50mm Summicron v5

B+W  Yellow Filter

Sekonic L-308S

Ilford FP4+ (@125)

HC-110 (Dil.H – 1:63 @ 10 minutes)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan



  • Fran & Anna - filed under folk? Fur folk's sake! Can't help but notice "The World Of Anton Karas" in the bottom browser there. As you can see on examining the LP cover, he wrote and performed the music for "The Third Man" - i.e. The Harry Lime Theme, Cafe Mozart Waltz, etc. My parents used to have the 78 rpm single.

    Where was the photo taken, John? Obviously a charity shop somewhere. Vicky Road? Byres Road? Surely not Seattle!


  • The wonderfulOxfam Music Shop on Byres Road - always worth a visit.

  • Ah yes, thought it looked too neat and tidy to be the Vicky Road Oxfam. These "The World of ..." LPs were a budget line issued by Decca back in the 1960s / 1970s. One of the first albums I bought was "The World Of Blues Power" with tracks by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Ten Years After, Savoy Brown, Peter Green, Champion Jack Dupree, etc. A snip at 99p!

    I'd like to say that the Oxfam music shops are a wonderful source of vinyl treasure but that would be a lie. It's mostly dreadful tat like Fran & Anna or Val Doonican or Duran Duran. Still, you never know .... sometimes something turns up.

  • Yes, mostly they are full of crap - but the one on Byres Road is their main Scottish music outlet, and they seem to get first dibs on some of the good quality stuff there to keep the hipsters & students coming back to investigate.