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Philomena Begley

Irish Country Music can be defined by the career of Philomena Begley. She has been recordings for over 60 years and is known as Ireland’s Country Queen. 

Philomena explains how she first got into country music: "It was through the music of Hank Williams. We would listen to the American Forces Network (AFN) on our way home from dances in the wee small hours too and also had an album of Hank’s songs. It was a big change because you could be excommunicated from the Catholic Church for doing some of the slow Country songs which we started playing in the 1960s and 1970s. To be honest I though we would be barred out of some dancehalls forever because we played slow fox-trots and some tunes for jiving - it was almost a sacrilege to do so at that time." 

During 1975 Philomena joined forces with Irish singer Ray Lynam and later won the award as Europe’s Top Country Duo at the prestigious Wembley International Country Festival. One of their best duets "My Elusive Dreams" was a huge Irish hit and was name checked in the Shane McGowan penned song by the Pogues "A Pair Of Brown Eyes". Philomena also had an Irish number one with her unforgettable rendition of "Blanket On The Ground"

She has recorded over twenty-five albums and the best of them are available in these four 2CD compilations. Taking from first beginnings in “Village in County Tyrone”, to leading her own showband in “Once Around the Dance Floor”, and further successes with the folk-tinged“Red Is The Rose” and big productions of “The Way Old Friends Do” you will hear all the best of Philomena’s recordings from 1968 to 2004, remastered for the first time for CD.  Throughout her recording career Philomena has wrung every ounce of emotion out of the lyrics and it  was noted in the March 2004 edition of  Europe’s biggest selling Country music magazine’ Country Music People, that she’s lost none of her vocal power and command of a Country lyric.