1945 - 2005
Johnny Loughrey was born in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1945. One of six children and the much loved son of William & Annie, John grew up with a love of all things musical, his father playing in the local pipe band for many years. John left his beloved Ireland at the age of nineteen to find work across the Irish sea in Manchester, England and this is where he met his bride to be Mary Philomena Kirrane.
The two fell head over heels in love and were soon married and raising a family of three: Michelle, Shaun and Paula. John held down a regular day job for most of his working life, supporting his young family. He pursued his passion in life, singing, in and around Manchester at the local Irish clubs. His first taste of the spotlight was with his good friend, Paddy Feery and the Bamber Blarney band.
Johnny then went on to form his own band which he named "The Countrysiders". They rapidly became one of the busiest and most sought after bands on the Irish country music scene in England. Their popularity grew throughout England, so much so that managers and promoters were in contact offering Johnny the opportunity to come back home and show off his undoubted talents