John McNally (musician)

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John McNally
John McNally 2015.jpg
McNally performing in 2015
Background information
Born (1941-08-30) 30 August 1941 (age 81)
Walton, Liverpool, England
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1957–present
Formerly ofThe Searchers

John McNally (born 30 August 1941) is an English guitarist.[1] He was a member of The Searchers, who were a big part of the Mersey sound in the early 1960s.


McNally was born in Walton, Liverpool, and started off playing skiffle and said that he was first influenced by country singers like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Hank Snow but after playing at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, and specifically, playing with Fats Domino at the club, his music took a different course towards Soul and Rhythm & Blues. McNally attended St Mary's College.

In 1957, John formed the band the Searchers, named after the 1956 film of the same name. and signed to Pye Records in 1963. Their first single, a cover of The Drifters 1961 song Sweets for My Sweet, went to number one. Their debut album Meet The Searchers, was released in August 1963. The album primarily consisted of covers. Their cover of The Clovers Love Potion No. 9 went to number two on the U.S Cash Box and their version of Pete Seeger's modern folk-style song Where Have All the Flowers Gone? went to No. 22 and stayed for 21 weeks.[2] Other hits by the group included Needles and Pins, Don't Throw Your Love Away and When You Walk in the Room. The Searchers became one of the first successful Beat music bands and were one of the most popular groups in the British Invasion in the early 1960s. John rarely sang lead or co-lead on their albums or performances, with singing mainly done by Mike Pender, Chris Curtis or Tony Jackson. The band's last album released during their 60s era was Take Me for What I'm Worth, released in November 1965. In total, the Searchers released nine albums between 1963 and 1988.

McNally remained with the band over 60 years, touring alongside Frank Allen, who replaced Tony Jackson in August 1964, until their last concert on 31 March 2019.[3] Following Mike Pender's departure in December 1985, John was the last original member of the classic 60s line up. John suffered a stroke in September 2017 and took a three month break from touring.[4] It was announced on the band's website in 2021 that they would undertake a further farewell tour in 2023.[5]

John has been married to Mary McNally since 1964.[6]


  1. ^ Somerville, Christopher (22 May 2008). "Walk of the month: Liverpool and Birkenhead". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  2. ^ "The Searchers| Charting 1964".
  3. ^ Campbell, Craig. "It's end of an era for legendary band The Searchers as they play their final gigs".
  4. ^ "Five decades on the road and The Searchers still going strong". 16 February 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Another Chapter". The Searchers Official Website. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Searchers' Wives and Children - Rickresource Rickenbacker Forum". Retrieved 25 August 2022.

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