The Johnstons

Formed 1965.


The Johnstons were an Irish close-harmony folk band, originally founded in Slane, County Meath, Ireland, consisting of Adrienne, Lucy and Michael Johnston. They began performing in the early 1960s in Slane.

They signed to Pye Records in 1965 and recorded Ewan MacColl's "The Travelling People", a major hit for them. They added Mick Moloney, then becoming a major figure in the Irish music scene, and Paul Brady, while Michael Johnston departed. They continued recording to great success in Ireland, then signed to Transatlantic Records in London, releasing a UK album called The Johnstons in 1968. This was followed by two albums released on the same day, the traditional The Barleycorn and more contemporary Give a Damn.

With the loss of Lucy Johnston, the remaining Johnstons moved to London, touring and appearing on British television and radio. They also toured the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Germany, then had a minor hit in the United States with a rendition of "Both Sides Now", by Joni Mitchell. In the US, they played at the 1971 Philadelphia Folk Festival, and performed at the Gerde's Folk City, and with Bonnie Raitt in Tuft's College, Boston; they were also the first band to open at the Bottom Line nightclub in New York.

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