Irish Country Singer"
@ All Ireland "ShoBiz" Hall Of Fame
Induction and Appreciation of Extensive Musical Career and Services to Irish People at Home and Abroad"
Nomination and Hall Of Fame Editorial Tribute:
Country & Western & ShowBand Historian.. Strabane, Co. Tyrone
It Takes a Confident and Extremely Good Singer to
Replace Big Tom McBride
John Glenn Excelled and Established his Own Extensive Fan Base
In May 1975 a new Country Singer was introduced to Ireland by the stage name of John Glenn. In 2021 John Glenn (real name John Hanratty) who hails from Crossmaglen in Co Armagh, from the early 1970’s played in local groups from the Castleblayney/Crossmaglen area called “Four Tracks” and “The Gamblers”. It was with “The Gamblers” that John came to the attention of Henry McMahon, co-founder and saxophonist of The Mainliners. “The Gamblers” were a popular group who played at all functions and as support to the big bands in venues around their home town.
It was Easter 1975 when Big Tom decided to leave the Mainliners to embark onto the scene with a new country band to be called “Big Tom and The Travellers” and at this time John was approached to audition with the blessing of Tom for “The Band With The Magic Beat”, The Mainliners. John was delighted to be asked as he himself was a fan of Big Tom McBride and the band. The Crossmaglen singer became an instant fan from the release of Tom's single “Gentle Mother” playing the 7 inch vinyl record over and over again and to this day, John still says... it’s his favourite song. With every opportunity John would go to see Tom and the Mainliners, so as you can imagine, it was a dream come true for the young man when he became the new lead singer with The Legendary Mainliners.
Bunclody, Co. Wexford..Where It All Began For John Glenn
It was on Thursday night 8th May 1975 when John Glenn and The Mainliners performed their first date at a marquee in Bunclody Co Wexford and the dates came pouring in with John and the band playing six and seven nights a week. John Glenn and The Mainliners became a phenomenal name in the Irish Country Music Scene very quickly and with this success came the release of their hit single and album titled “Sunny Side Of The Mountain” which reached number five in the Irish charts and stayed in the Top 20 for 12 consecutive weeks.
With the great success of the single, John received a Gold Disc and won awards for Best Album Of The Year, Best Single Of The Year and Best Male Showband Singer Of The Year.
Other great hits were recorded such as “Darlin Lets Turn Back The Years”, “Keep On The Sunnyside”, “The Boys From County Armagh” “ NoreenBawn” and many, many more.
New Horizons and Ambitions
After three years fronting The Mainliners, in 1978 John decided to leave and form his own new band called “The Wranglers”. For many great years John toured Ireland, Scotland, U.K. America and Canada and appeared as one of the main Irish bands at Wembley Country Music Festival in 1978. He also recorded many albums such as “Hello”, “Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes” “At Home In Ireland” and his most recent album is called “I’ll Settle For Old Ireland”. John also made appearances on “The Late Late Show”; Paschal Mooneys “Keep It Country” and “Live At Three”.
BACK ON THE BEAT WITH THE MAINLINERS: Life has taken full circle once again for John Glenn, when in 2018 (40 years later) by public demand, John and The Mainliners were requested to reform. It was to the delight of their fans that they agreed to reform and in July 2018, John Glenn and The Mainliners appeared in the Mulroy Woods Hotel, previously known as The Milford Inn, Milford Co, Donegal. Once again the fans flocked to see The Mainliners on stage and John has not only re-created memories for some, but has also captured a new audience who are loving the sound of The Mainliners.
Again dates were plentiful and a new single was released called “Roses In The Snow”. Another single followed later called “Dim The Lights And Pour The Wine” and both singles have proved extremely popular on all radio stations across Ireland. New albums are set for release in 2021and this will no doubt be a No 1 selling album.
Deep Mourning For Colleagues and Dear Friends: Although there has been great success on their musical journies, there has also been sad times for the “Band of Brothers” with the passing of Cyril McKevitt and Big Tom and in June 2019 the loss of Seamus McMahon, who was Lead Guitarist and also Henry McMahon’s brother. This was particularly hard for the band especially Henry, and sadness was to strike again when new member, Castleblayney Lead Guitarist and former member of John Glenn and the Wranglers, Thomas Kernan, also passed away in January 2020. Both performers played a big part in The Mainliners and to the band and their many fans, they will never be forgotten.
As we have all experienced, the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown played havoc on Live Music shows. However Facebook has kept us entertained with LIVE videos and shows from all artists, including Henry McMahon with his Covid 19 poem which gave a true reflection of how Henry survives. It also shows us the talent of band member, Martin Campbell, when he posted a few songs for us to hear, but John Glenn gladdens the hearts of his many fans when he does “LIVE” shows every Friday night from 8pm and his first show had over 25,000 views. Here John sings and tells some stories for approximately an hour each week. The feedback to this has been amazing and people look forward to his weekly show.
On The Road Again:
Up until Covid 19 John has never been absent from the music scene and has always been part of it whether it be with a band or guest appearances, so being on the road is all John knows. John and The Mainliners really look forward to getting back on the road again for their friends and fans. They also look forward to meeting new fans and entertaining dance fans with all the favourite songs from over the years.
John Glenn, the singer and musician, is the most humble, unaffected by fame person anyone could meet and has a legion of fans all over Ireland and overseas. His popularity is surreal to him, but he is delighted you enjoy his music.
2021 Marks 45 years in the business and what an achievement…you truly are a legend John and may God bless you with many more years….we look forward to seeing you back on stage where you belong with The Mainliners when the Covid 19 of 2020/21 abates.
Contributor: Sharon Murphy
The All Ireland Hall Of Fame Online Gallery is deginated to Irish People all around the globe and was established in July 2006, followed in 2008 by the launch of Irish Heritage Hall Of Fame Online Gallery, which is the Irish Home for greater Hall of Fame appreciation and awareness of our FAMOUS SONS & DAUGHTERS OF IRELAND, both Irish and Ancestral Irish.
We extend a Céad Míle Fáilte to our new MusicLife Contributor, Sharon Murphy of Strabane. Sharon is an encyclopaedia of hugely entertaining data and nostalgic memories of a huge collection of former ShowBands and really special singers, who are all worthy of recognition at All Ireland 'ShoBiz' Hall Of Fame.
JOHN GLENN'S Induction is testament to his longevity and success in MusicLife and after Covid takes a break from wrecking all our work schedules, we look forward to teaming up with John and making our special "Hall Of Fame" presentation to honour this induction.
Yours in Sport & Music,
Derry JF Doody