A LIFELONG dream came true for one resident at Wallyford’s Drummohr Care Home when he got the chance to follow in the footsteps of his boyhood hero.

Since he was a youngster, Donald Bamberry has always emulated the American singer, comedian and film actor Al Jolson, dubbed at the peak of his career as ‘The World’s Greatest Entertainer’.

Now at the age of 88, Donald got the chance to record his hero’s work with well-known entertainer Gary Coupland of the family show Funbox, formerly the Singing Kettle’s own ‘Music Man’.

Gary, who received an MBE in 1999, visits the home, which is run by HC-One, each month to entertain the residents.

He has composed and produced music for the BBC and ITV, played at the Edinburgh Festival and the Glasgow Year of Culture, played for Prince Charles and appeared on numerous CDs and DVDs.

Marie McLachlan, the home’s wellbeing co-ordinator, arranged for the surprise private recording session at the Pencaitland-based Slate Room Studio, during which Donald performed Jolson’s hits April Showers, My Mammy, Baby Face and California, Here I Come.

Although best remembered today as the star of the first talking picture The Jazz Singer in 1927, Jolson starred in a series of successful musical films during the 1930s.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was the first star to entertain troops overseas during the Second World War.

Home manager Dawn Barrett said: “We love making residents’ wishes come true and couldn’t wait to surprise Donald with this experience.

“The smile on his face when he came back to the home and hearing his masterpiece was really special.”

Donald, who is originally from Edinburgh, has been a resident at Drummohr for five-and-a-half years.