2013 Inductees to the British Country Music Hall Of Fame.


Frank Jennings ~ inductee No 29 View Certificate 0029
Frank Jennings
One of the very successful band leaders from the 1970s, Frank was born in London at the end of World War 2, his parents came from Ireland and encouraged him in music. It was a short step from traditional Irish music sung at home and in the clubs to Country music. 
He achieved national recognition as a winner of Opportunity Knocks in the 70s with his band, Syndicate. Frank Jennings Syndicate were one of the first UK bands to get a major label deal and he released a series of successful singles on EMI, Columbia and One Up labels. Titles like A Good Love Is Like A Good Song in 76, his Christmas single, Silent Night in 77, while 78 saw Me And My Guitar, Everybody Needs A Rainbow and the One Up album, Ponderosa Country (with them all posing on a large steam roller on the cover). 
His recently released, Yesterday Today And Tomorrow realised four top 10 hits on the Hotdisc top 40 and UK Country Radio top 10 chart. Two hit the top spot, Matamoros and Born And Raised In Black And White. 
During his long career he has recorded at Abbey Road for EMI and also in Nashville, where he appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, he has also appeared at the London Palladium. 
He toured in the UK opening for major artists like Don Williams and the legendary, Tammy Wynette. The road still goes on and he appears on tour with the band, Capricorn. 
Frank Jennings joins the British Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
   
Philomena Begley ~ inductee No 30 View Certificate 0030
Philomena Begley
Philomena Begley was born in Pomeroy in County Tyrone, Ulster
on October 20th 1942.
Her first job on leaving school was in a shirt factory before answering a dare from her mates on a night to sing with a ceilidh band led to getting the offer to join them. After a change of name for the band to Country Flavour her 50 year musical career was underway.
After her previous three records, Philomena was in the studio again in 1970 to record Here Today Gone Tomorrow which peaked at number seven on the Irish chart.
In 1974 she left Country Flavour and formed The Rambling Men and 1975 saw the start of the duet period with Ray Lynham, their song, My Elusive Dreams getting a mention for them in the Pogues’ hit, A Pair Of Brown Eyes.
The same year Philomena covered Blanket On The Ground which peaked at number five, ahead of Billie Jo Spears in Ireland. They later became very close friends and toured together.
Her first tour in the USA was in 1977 and the following year she joined Porter Wagoner on the Grand Ole Opry.
Her music has taken her to be guest on the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City and singing in the Carnegie Hall with appearances at the Wembley, Peterborough and other major festivals.
With over 20 albums in her back catalogue, her current best seller is How I Love To Sing The Old Songs on H&H Music. The opening track, I Ain’t Over The Hill says it all for this Queen of Irish Country. We welcome her to the Hall of Fame.
Johnny Larkin ~ inductee No 31 View Certificate 0031
Johnny Larkin
Johnny Larkin, performer, agent, promoter, charity fundraiser is the oldest inductee into the British Country Music Hall of Fame at 87 years. This legend of the North East started his musical career in 1948, just three years after the end of WW2, incidentally our other two inductees this year were just four years old.
Such was his skill and charisma he teamed with Fred Rowe and won a Butlin’s talent competition.
In 1952 he formed an entertainment agency in the mid-50s, the renowned JL Entertainments to further the careers of the North East artists. 
He has booked many major Country acts including Charlie Walker, Marvin Rainwater, the fiddler and Billy Armstrong who toured with a then nine year old Hall of Fame member, Sarah Jory. He also toured and played alongside Boxcar Willie and became friends with him. He’s not perfect, he turned down Tammy Wynette in her early days because she was not well known!
After the death of his wife from Parkinson’s disease he began an ongoing fundraising campaign starting with recording an album with all profits going to the Parkinson Society. He has so far raised over £5,000 for them.
A prolific performer, he has over 20 albums in his back catalogue
of strictly the old school Country, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the stars. Still performing when he gets a chance he has no intention of retiring, doing many charity gigs each year. 
His son runs the agency but he still shows an interest.
Back in 2009 broadcaster and journalist, Brian Clough wrote if ever there is a British Hall of Fame, Johnny Larkin must surely be an inductee.