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Rufus Harley: America’s First Kilted Jazz Bagpiper

In 1963, while watching the Black Watch Pipe Band play at President Kennedy's funeral, he found himself inspired to learn the bagpipes after unsuccessfully trying to mimic the bagpipe sound on his saxophone. Harley searched several local pawn shops for a decent set of bagpipes and finally found a set in New York City for $120. During his learning period, neighbors would call the police about the noice coming from Harley's apartment. Harley would ask the cops, "Do I look like I'm Irish or Scottish?" keeping the police officers away long enough for him to learn the instrument. In 1964 Harley made his first public appearance playing his bagpipes.

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In My Own Words: Andrew Graham

My kilted journey began in 1999, the year I graduated from high school. The year my father and I went to Scotland to explore our Scottish roots. In the airport was a gentleman wearing a kilt. I had seen them on television, and once in person when we went to the Scottish games. But this was the first time I had seen on up close and personal. I felt no need to hide behind my hand and snicker as so many teenagers do. In fact I thought it was cool.

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Rufus Harley: America’s First Kilted Jazz Bagpiper

In 1963, while watching the Black Watch Pipe Band play at President Kennedy's funeral, he found himself inspired to learn the bagpipes after unsuccessfully trying to mimic the bagpipe sound on his saxophone. Harley searched several local pawn shops for a decent set of bagpipes and finally found a set in New York City for $120. During his learning period, neighbors would call the police about the noice coming from Harley's apartment. Harley would ask the cops, "Do I look like I'm Irish or Scottish?" keeping the police officers away long enough for him to learn the instrument. In 1964 Harley made his first public appearance playing his bagpipes.

Apologies and Updates

When I first started Life In A Kilt Magazine a couple years ago, I intended on creating a publication unlike anything that existed in either print or digital. I wanted to create a kilt lifestyle magazine that included more than just kilts. I envisioned articles and information in all areas of life of interest to kilt wearers. I mean, we all love kilts and sporrans and Highland Games but we also love beer, travel, movies, technology and a ton of other stuff. Why can't there be a magazine with articles and information about all of that stuff?

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