johnny-bio

I was born in a small town called Banagher in the midlands of Ireland on the banks of the River Shannon. It was there I spent many a happy day playing in the meadows and bog lands. Watching my uncles cut turf, jumping bog holes with my cousins and in the evening listening to the call of the Corncrake and the Curlew.

When I was six my family and I moved from the quiet town of Banagher to the hustle and bustle of Dublin City. We were a small close knit family but strangely enough there was no music in the house however my mother could dance a fine “Hornpipe.” My first introduction to the beauty of folk music came on cold winter evenings listening to Radio Luxemburg after homework was done. The station used to present a folk programme that featured well established names such as The Weavers, Rambling Jack Elliot and Hank Williams to name but a few. Folk music now became my first love, meaning the good ole Rock n Roll would have to take a back seat.

When I reached my teens I formed a folk duo with a fellow art student by the name of Michael Crotty. We called ourselves the “Ramblers Two” While together we toured various folk clubs in both Ireland and England during the mid sixties. However we eventually went our separate ways, Michael to join a folk group, and me, well I took the road less travelled and went solo…..This was to make all the difference.

My big break came in late 1966 when I recorded a song called “Mursheen Durkin” an old ballad from the west of Ireland. It topped the charts at Number 1 for three consecutive weeks and represented my first steps on the road to success. “Mursheen Durkin” was followed up by “The Boston Burglar” which also reached Number 1 in the charts. In 1966 in Dublin City I had played support to an up and coming band “The Rolling Stones” and for the very first time witnessed the mobbing and screaming of the fans, the band running for the back door and the all important getaway car….. Now this was happening to me!!!

My first tour of the United States was in 67. It involved seven weeks of concerts during that very hot summer of Hippies, Protests and Vietnam. One of the many famous venues I played was the “Hungry Eye” in San Francisco. However, my favourite was the famous “Carnegie Hall” in New York City. It was a most memorable experience for me at that time and still is to the present day. It was at this stage in my career that I had my third Number One Hit with the song “Nora” from Sean O’Casey’s famous play “The Plough And The Stars”

Later this song gained a well respected place on my album of prose, poetry and song called “All Our Wars Are Merry All Our Songs Are Sad” perhaps I will complete a similar project sometime in the future

I formed a band in the 1970’s and went Electric! My heart was now torn between the Fashionable Showbands of that era and my one true love Folk Music. Well let’s just say …. Love Conquered All.

On a golden August afternoon while sitting on a stone in the sun outside Kennedy’s pub in Doocastle Co. Mayo, came the inspiration to write my first song “Long Before Your Time” It too reached Number 1 and to this day I am still putting pen to paper or as Dylan Thomas might say “Labouring By Singing Light”.

I am happy to say that many of the songs that I have written over the years have become standards and have been recorded by many other singers. Song’s like “Long Before Your Time” “Michael” “Going To California” “The Ballad Of John Williams” “Richman’s GardenNever Learned To Dance” and “The Ballad of Anne Frank”to name a few.

I consider myself most fortunate as my singing has brought me to many places in the world, places I would never have dreamed of seeing. I have seen the cold lands of Northern Canada, been stranded in blizzards throughout the U.S., Stood on the burning sands of the Persian Gulf, and sung my songs beneath the warm sun of Spain. I have sailed both the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas, wondered at the many ancient sites in Rome and have been seduced by the beauty of Pompeii. Witnessed the beginning and the ending of the Cold War, shuddered at the atrocities of 9/11 and rejoiced at the coming of peace to Northern Ireland. Throughout all these experiences, both my writing and singing have been with me through the good and bad.

This year will the see the release of my first studio Album in 10 years. The new album “Basement Sessions” is due out in October and I have to say I am very excited about it. I believe it is some of my best work yet. I also make a return to Newfoundland this year, a place I haven’t been for a few years. I am also delighted to announce that I will be back touring Ireland for October and November.

That’s it for the moment and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Slán

Johnny McEvoy

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39 Comments

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    Maura Quinn

    Sep 13, 2014

    Good morning Johnny

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    Pat Carpendale

    Sep 13, 2014

    Hi Johnny. I have been an admirer of yours for many many years. Myself and a man called Dennis Maher played support to you many years ago in a Pub called the “Shanty” in south Kilkenny. I am happy to see you back on the road again, and look fordward to comming to one of your concerts. Will be getting you Album soon. Best Wishes Johnny. Pat.

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    Kathy McShane

    Sep 13, 2014

    Johnny,I have been a dedicated fan since about 1968, first time I seen and met you was in St John’s Hall in Magherafelt, in Co Derry and then in Ulster Hall in Belfast, when we were all so much younger,lol,I then moved to England and went to your concerts in Coventry and Northampton and London, came back to N. Ireland and you did a concert in my home town of Draperstown,Co Derry, then it was Mary’s lounge in Magherafelt, Co Derry for several years, then I met you again at the opening of the Sixtowns Community Centre,near Draperstown,again in Co Derry, you were there with Brendan Grace and I have a lovely photo, taken by Brendan !.Next stop was The Burnavon in Cookstown, where i have seen you several times, and you are always so willingly to meet you adoring fans and oblige with a photo, which means the world to me and your fans,and now you are back in Derry in November in the Millenium Forum and just cant wait to hear all your new material and just waiting for your new album to be released in October. I will be pre-ordering “Basenent Sessions” online to make sure I get it to add to my Collection and I still have your very 1st LP. Johnny, Good Luck with your new album and your new shows and can’t wait for Derry, you will bring the house down by your very presence , can’t wait x 🙂

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    Kathy McShane

    Sep 20, 2014

    Johnny, new website is brilliant,best thing ever, opened up your world to all of us and now we can see all the venues and tours, new albums etc, its fantastic and can chat to all your fans, I don’t think you realised you had so many fans until now, because we never knew where you were appearing, or if you had a new album out, so Johnny, this is just brilliant,and enjoy all your songs 🙂

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    Seamus Mulqueen

    Oct 10, 2014

    Hi Johnny,
    I am 64 years young. I have your music going back to Muirseen and all over the years.
    I see you are coming to Limerick soon. Will you play solo or will you have a band with you.?
    Continued success in the future and with your new CD.
    Seamus

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    Pat Warde

    Oct 16, 2014

    Hi jonny
    You have the best music I in joy your music
    I play it on the radio on my show
    I do a country show on wrfm Westport community
    Radio. I joy your music

    Pat Warde d
    Radio dj
    Wrfm Westport radio

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    Michael Donegan Kilmeedy

    Nov 10, 2014

    Hello Johnny So glad you are touring Ireland again I am one of the Lucky fans and can still remember the night you played a guest spot in The Olympic Ballroom in Newcastlewest Mursheen Durkin was the song of the day.You were brilliant then and i have always been a huge fan of your singing,writing and the beautiful sentiment in your music.Looking forward to seeing somewhere during your tour.Loved the interview with John Murray shed a few tears as you sang The Planters Daughter.
    Michael Donegan

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    Ciara McConville

    Nov 14, 2014

    Hi Johnny

    I was wondering i you could do me a special favour.

    My mum is a huge fan and she is travelling to the Gleneagles this weekend form the north to see you perform.

    Thing is she is 75 years young on Sunday 16th. She is a fantastic wife, mum and grandmother and the rock to our family. She always does things for everyone else so I was hoping to could play a special request for her on the night or even mention her name. I would be forever grateful.

    Her name is Imelda McConville and she is there with her hubbie Colum. She is from Co. Down but lives in Co. Armagh so as you can imagine that causes plenty of banter.

    Thanks and great to see you back in action.

    Warmest regards

    Ciara McConville

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    Michael Heaney

    Nov 17, 2014

    Hi Johnny,

    I was at your concert at the INEC Gleneagle,Killarney last Saturday night. I attended with my wife and my sister and her husband.You played a beautiful show. We loved every minute. I wish you every success in the future. I first saw you sing many many years ago with my dad and sister in Mallow town 1967. I was only seven years old then.
    We are very sorry to hear of the death of your wife, we will pray for her soul in our prayers.

    Regards
    Michael Heaney

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    Chris Bartlam

    Dec 05, 2014

    Love your music and great to see that you are touring – what’s the possibility of coming to the South of England?

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    john mc manus

    Jan 02, 2015

    I just love your wonderful singing voice johnny.I have being listening to you for years and i never grow tired of your beautiful songs and the way you perform them.No one else i know has that ability.You have given me endless hours of enjoyment and i thank you so much for that.Long may you reign because there is lots more to come.You are simply the best.My big wish is that you sing a few ballads at my wedding in 2015,that would make all my dreams come true.I have being a lifelong fan johnny and will remain so.I sing along with you every word.Thank you so much for all the enjoyment i get johnny listening to you.

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    John Lane

    Jan 03, 2015

    I met you through a friend a few weeks ago and Happy I did….Your music is so devoted and inspiring…I thought I knew all about my Native land called Ireland but I knew very little til I heard you sing and tell us in such sweet detail the love, laughter and tragedies of Emerald Isle…..I;m very glad to meet you Sir and hopefully meet you in person one day ….Your music and voice is a God send to all who take ear……….Your new fans from Newfofundland….John and Linda…..

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    Teresa

    Feb 05, 2015

    Johnny just been to your concert in Roscommon. Enjoyed every moment of it. Loved your voice and songs since childhood . Your voice still has that melodious quality , how do you maintain it? Teresa

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    mick dundee

    Feb 13, 2015

    Hi Johnny, im 37 years old and have been following your music from i was about 5, my uncle used to take me to your concerts around the Dungannon and Cookstown when you where playing in the area. my father and i went to see you the last time you played the Burnavon in cookstown, we both thought you where brilliant and sounded even better than you did in the 80’s.i have just been informed that you are playing the Burnavon next week and unfortunately it is sold out. Hopefully next time your up this neck of the woods i will get to see you again. All the best,Michael

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    Tony Doran

    Mar 03, 2015

    Hi Johnny l have seen you perform many times . Last time was the tlt theatre in drogheda last year a brilliant show.l love the way you introduce a song and then sing it . Matthew is one of the most beautiful heartfelt songs I have ever heard it’s a privelage to hear you sing it.l am looking forward to your show in the Ardbyne hotel navan good luck and thanks for all the music.

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    lucy. fitzsimons.

    Mar 07, 2015

    HEllo. Johnny. First. I. Want. To. Convey. My. Deep. Sympathy. On. The passing. Off. Your dear. Wife. Odette will. Rem hetr in my prayers. Long. Time. Since. I. First. MRT. You. At your brother tommy and. Helen wedding. She. Was. A. Cousin of. My late. Father. You. Were. 16. Or 18. MRT you. Few years ago. At trim castle. Hotel. Brilliant. Show. Hope. You. Come. Soon again
    I love. Your. Shows wish. You continued success. God. Bless. Lucy. Fitzsimons.

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    Mary

    Mar 19, 2015

    Just in from show in Carrickdale. What can I say other than wonderful! Johnny in great voice and so generous. Gave 2 hours ..a fantastic blend of old and new..
    Great singing, great guitar too! A night of bliss!

    Many thanks..

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    Loren

    Apr 06, 2015

    I just came across the song “Matthew.” I have really connected with this song as it reminds me of my uncle who is in the nursing home in his home town, with his mind lost in somewhere in the past, memories, and where he only knows. It’s so sad, breaking by heart somethins awful. Makes me feel when my mother comes back from trying to visit him, just hoping he recognizes her again. Thanks for writting this beautiful ballad.

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    Thomas m Reynolds

    Apr 14, 2015

    hi johnny
    I have been a fan of yours for many a year and will be touring Ireland in October and I hope to come across one of your concerts again ,the last one before I emigrated to Canada was in the blanchardstown centre and I thoroughly enjoyed
    So thanks again for your singing and may you continue for a long time more

    Yours tom reynolds

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    Kathy McShane

    Apr 24, 2015

    Johnny, hope you had a lovely day on this your Big 70 Birthday and long may you continue to entertain us and I hear, maybe a NEW ALBUM this year, seen you in Cookstown and Derry and you are always so generous with your time, meeting all your fans. Hoping to see you again soon and Regards to Darren xx 🙂

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    Cyril Wilkinson

    Jun 23, 2015

    Hi there Johnny I must say I have truly enjoyed going over your career through the many years you’ve been the recording business I must say my particular favourite from you is an album you did in 1968 called ”With An Eye To Your Ear” out of interest did you record that album backed by ex members of the Cadets Showband? In any case it was very good there’s such a lot of musical variety on there. All the best, Cyril Wilkinson Carnew, Co. Wicklow.

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      t. brady

      Nov 24, 2015

      Hi Johnny read about u from time to time and listened to your music for years on the radio.but never actually got to see u in concert. I remember when u worked in the advertising co in Wicklow st. Many many moons ago. U followed your dreams and became famous and I really admire you for @ that.

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    Monica Rice

    Mar 10, 2016

    Johnny Have been your fan longer than I care to remember. I have gone to many of your concerts particular in Belfast. When will you be coming back to Belfast or any place in the North. Monica

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    Julie healy

    Mar 19, 2016

    Hi Johnny
    I am a fan of yours for a very long time love your songs and style of singing. Good to see you back and keep going as time is of the essence and your a LEGEND .
    See you soon again along the way
    High 5
    Love Julie x

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    Leo Whelan

    Mar 26, 2016

    Hello Johnny, My name is Leo Whelan living in GFW Newfoundland, Great Dublin Irish name, I have been a fan of your music for sometime now, And have been singing some of your great songs at Concerts & Party’s I just released a new CD of my own written songs, My songs I sing cd Cover, Can be view on my web site, I would like to record a few of your songs on my next CD with your permission, I sure would enjoy singing your songs, Would appreciate hearing from you if possible, Keep up the great writing and singing, All the Best on your tour, I will be visiting Ireland In May this year for a visit, Again all the Best, Leo Whelan,!!

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    Arthur mc kenna

    Apr 09, 2016

    Always loved your music johnny ! My dad often talked about your brother tom and your self ! He passed on last year do you remember him johnny ” Arthur mc kenna from miltown ! I know it’s along time ago like everything else time changes memories ! Your friend in music Arthur mc kenna jnr

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    Liam Mc Dermott

    Apr 26, 2016

    How many number one hits did u have in the lrish charts?

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    Pat

    May 20, 2016

    Can you tell me what song is on the b side of long long before your time thanks

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    Tim O'Regan

    Jun 28, 2016

    When will you be performing in NYC or ft myers, fl?

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    Ron Crangle

    Aug 27, 2016

    Keep up the good work Johnny and get back to Belfast!! Ron

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    Joan Talbot

    Aug 28, 2016

    Sitting at the moment listening to you on video ,can’t wait for your new cd

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    paddy mcnally

    Aug 29, 2016

    Hiya Johnny, I first heard you sing when my Grandparents came to live in England in 1970. Since then i have listened to and loved every single song you wrote and sang. I’ve never had the chance to see you live and I am trying to make this possible this year. My many visits home to Ireland have missed your concerts for one reason or another. Keep up the fantastic work thank you for the many happy hours i’ve spent listening to your musical ‘works of art’ Paddy McNally. Sheffield. England

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    真人百家樂

    Sep 16, 2016

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m improving myself. I certainly love reading all that is posted on your site.Keep the tips coming. I enjoyed it!

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    Nelson Bragg

    Oct 12, 2016

    We will see you in Stephenville, Newfoundland on Nov 6th.

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    Sheila Williamson

    Oct 13, 2016

    Johnny, I am writing from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and am sitting here with my 100 year old mother, Christina Lyons. Christina lived in Banagher in her youth and she still has 2 brothers and many nieces and nephews in and around Banagher. We love to listen to your music. A favourite of ours is, ‘The Town I Left Behind’. Thank you.

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    Pierce

    Dec 11, 2016

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Christmas and continued success to yourself for 2017.
    Regards
    Pierce Glancy
    Drumsna
    Co. Leitrim.

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    John Cafferkey

    Dec 11, 2016

    Johnny, you are one of the best, and still going strong after all these years.

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    Martin Hughes

    Dec 11, 2016

    Johnny,
    I heard you on radio this morning, Sunday, 10th December, with Miriam O’Callaghan and what a joy it was to hear you sing (again) The Planter’s Daughter! You are a true performer and artist and professional to your fingertips. Hope to catch you on your forthcoming tour. God bless and good health

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    Nancy McNally

    Dec 12, 2016

    We studied in Dublin in the 60’s and you were our favorite. We got married in September1967 and the McNally family took turns throughout the night singing your songs. We have lived in Alberta, Canada many years now – we still listen to your music and have shared it with many of our Canadian friends.
    Continue the good work. Thank you.