June 30, 2011

Jim Hutton, 1936-2011 (funeral details added)

The legendary pipe band drummer Jim Hutton died on the morning of June 20, 2011, in his seventy-fifth year. A giant of the pipe band world, Hutton was best known for his work with the Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band, with which he won at least one World Pipe Band Championship, playing alongside his brother, David, who was Pipe-Sergeant of the band.

Born in 1936, Hutton was a member of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band, first in 1953 and 1956 under Pipe-Major Donald Shaw Ramsay, and then in 1968 and 1970 under Pipe-Major Iain McLeod. In the latter period with the band he played with Leading-Drummer Alex Duthart. It was also under Duthart when Hutton was a member of Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia until the early-1980s. He was also a member of the Invergordon Distillery Pipe Band in the late-1960s, again playing under Alex Duthart.


Following his playing career, Jim Hutton built a solid reputation as one of the RSPBA’s top adjudicators, frequently judging the organization’s major championships and the World Solo Drumming competitions.

Hutton was an active and giving teacher throughout his life, and frequently travelled abroad to impart his knowledge. He was a popular and respected figure in the pipe band world, never afraid to express his well informed opinion on all things pipe band.

Jim Hutton was part of pipes|drums Magazine’s four-part “Living legends reunited” interview with eight former members of the Edinburgh City Police bands of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, in which he shared important historical memories of his time with the bands with which he played.

A brief profile of Jim Hutton appeard on pipes|drums in November 2000.

The funeral is at  2:45 pm on Monday, June 27th, at the Dundas Funeral Home (Thomas Cuthell Funeral Home), Bo’ness Road, Grangemouth, FK3 8AF (next to the police station, in the centre of town), followed by burial at 3:30 pm at the New Grandsable Cemetery, Polmont Road, Polmont, FK2. Refreshments will follow at the Leapark Hotel, Boness Road, Grangemouth.

On behalf of the piping and drumming world, we extend our sympathies to Jim Hutton’s survivors and his many friends around the world at this sad time.


  1. Great guy, great drummer,will be sadly missed by a great number of people… My thoughts and prayers to Ilene and son Dave and daughter Julie. RIP’ll be missed. Drew

  2. Very sad news indeed. Jim will be missed by many of us in the pipe band world; both in Scotland and overseas. I remember playing with Jim for fun at Ainsley Rollo’s wedding. He was always a good sport and one of the most knowledgeable pipe band drummers in the world. Rest in peace Jim. Michael H.

  3. Jim was a great influence on me during my time with Toronto Police in the 80’s and when I moved to Scotland to play with British Caledonia Airways. I really appreciated the guidance he provided when I was playing and more recently as an international adjudicator with the RSPBA. I felt he was a good friend and will be missed – Greg Dinsdale.

  4. An inspirational Uncle who gave me a passion for the drums. Happy memories of him and his pal Alec giving me a master class many many years ago. Both in and out of the pipe band world he gave me correct advice. Rest in Peace Graham Goulden

  5. Jim’s valued contribution to the pipe band world will always be remembered in both his drumming and adjudication career. It was a pleasure to play alongside him in the Shotts corps. My thoughts are with his family at this time. Arthur Cook

  6. I always had much more in common with Jim’s brother Davey, yet whenever I saw Jim — every few years here in Ontario usually — it was always like I just saw him yesterday. There was never even the slightest pause while he recalled my name, and it seemed he immediately thought of something we could talk about. That positive, upbeat, outgoing nature always impressed me as much as his depth of experience and talent. Man, you never know when the next time you shake someone’s hand it may be the last time….

  7. My condolences to Ilene and the kids as well. Playing pipes a couple of times with Jimmy drumming is a fond memory, along with the porch party at our B&B with the Rollo clan, Jimmy and Ilene, and maybe a couple of drams….RIP Jimmy

  8. What a loss. We met Jim at Ian Rollo’s wedding in the early 90’s. He was a true gentleman and a class act. Jim spoke his mind and had the wealth of experience to back up what he said. He was always upbeat and positive when I spoke with him and wouldn’t hesitate to offer his opinion or discuss his scoresheets in detail. I consider myself very fortunate to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.



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