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Showband star Jimmy Johnston is laid to rest

By Allan Preston

Published 20/07/2016

Friends and family of former showband leader Jimmy Johnston gather outside First Comber Presbyterian Church, where his funeral was held yesterday
Friends and family of former showband leader Jimmy Johnston gather outside First Comber Presbyterian Church, where his funeral was held yesterday
Friends and family of former showband leader Jimmy Johnston gather outside First Comber Presbyterian Church, where his funeral was held yesterday
Jimmy Johnston

The funeral of showband leader Jimmy Johnston was held in Comber yesterday.

The 77-year-old, who passed away last Thursday after an illness, led the Jimmy Johnston Showband for some 50 years.

In his later career, he worked as an agent, a music producer and even managed Portadown's Seagoe Hotel. He also started Ulster's biggest country music dancing agency.

Mourners gathered at First Comber Presbyterian Church yesterday afternoon.

A funeral notice described the Comber man as a "dearly-loved husband of Carol, stepfather of David". He also leaves behind daughter Yvette, daughter-in-law Julie, grandchildren Kelly, Rebecca, Ryan and Cara, and son-in-law Michael.

While he enjoyed his own life on stage at the height of the showband era in the 1960s and 70s, Johnston later offered a helping hand to newer acts.

Country singer Nathan Carter, who regularly sells out shows across the UK and Ireland, wrote last week: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Jimmy Johnston, a man who believed in me and gave me gigs all over Northern Ireland for many years.

"Today is a sad loss to the music industry. RIP Jimmy."

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