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Johnny Collins


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Johnny Collins (born May 10, 1938, died July 6 2009) was a London-based singer specializing in traditional and . Joined the British Army in 1956, where he learned to play the guitar while posted in London. Was posted to Singapore in 1959 where he began performing in bars and cabarets in his off hours. Was posted to Hong Kong in 1965 where he began performing large concerts with other folk performers in the British and U.S. military. He also performed on television and radio (including the “Voice of America in East Asia”) and played venues like the Hong Kong Hilton. In 1967 he was posted again to Singapore where he began his own folk club at the Anophel Inn. Tom Lewis and Pam Ayres performed there, among others. He was demobilized in 1968, and he began to perform full-time.

In 1983 he and Jim Mageean, performing as a duo, won the Intervision Song Contest in Rostock, in East Germany. Later, in 1987, they were invited by the East German government to perform at a festival in Berlin commemorating the city’s founding. Although recent heath problems have slowed him down, Collins continues to tour and perform worldwide including in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland and France as well as making frequent appearances in his native country at Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races, and maritime festivals at Hull, Lancaster, Bristol, Dundee, Maldon, Portsmouth, Gosport, Greenwich and Chatham.

Partial discography

* Traveller’s Rest (1973)
* Johnny’s Private Army (1975)
* Make the Rafters Roar (1979) with Jim Mageean


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