The Loughran family arrived in London, England in 1953 and established themselves in the South London areas of Brixton, Tooting and Colliers Wood.
The 1950s in London were alive with the various scenes of folk, blues, rhythm & blues and rock n roll. The young Gerry Loughran was open to many influences. During 1955, after his brother David gave him his first guitar (with the intention of keeping his younger brother off the streets and out of trouble), the thirteen year old Gerry first turned to playing music.
As well as the emerging rock & roll scene Gerry was also listening to incomparable artistes such as Hank Williams, Tex Ritter and Ella Fitzgerald.
Gerry was soon playing in a skiffle group called The Hornets. He spent three years with them playing such venues as the Skiffle Cellar (later known as the Les Cousins club). Gerry also appeared at the Finsbury Park Empire with Wally Whyton and The Vipers.
Gerry with Royd Rivers
However, a huge musical influence was about to exert itself on the teenage Gerry Loughran. The black American blues was an unadulterated and powerful music which had been evolving since the 19th century. Its influence on other musical forms including jazz, ragtime, country and, of course, rock n roll, ensured it would reach an incredible number of musicians during the 20th century.
The first blues greats that Gerry discovered for himself were Josh White, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Leadbelly, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and his biggest influence of all Big Bill Broonzy.
It was now that Gerry knew which musical direction he wanted to pursue.
Towards the end of the 1950s, Gerry met and become life-long friends with two other young blues musicians: Cliff Aungier and Royd Rivers. Cliff Aungier, a fine singer and gifted guitarist, was also inspired by the black American blues and continues to perform live and make recordings into the new millennium.
Royd Rivers played blues harmonica and a custom built 12 -string guitar being greatly inspired by Leadbelly. Together, they later made a lasting contribution to the London music scene with the opening of a folk and blues club at the Half Moon pub in Putney, South West London.
And in 1959, Gerry met his future wife, Bobbi, in Kingston, Surrey.