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David Palmer


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Dee Palmer (born David Victor Palmer, 2 July 1937, in Hendon, North West, London) is an English arranger and keyboardist best known for having been a member of the rock group Jethro Tull. Palmer is a transsexual woman who was known as David Palmer for many years, including her stint with Jethro Tull. She is very open about her transsexuality and plans on releasing a solo album in the future.

Early career

Palmer learned to play clarinet during a stint in the Royal Horse Guards cavalry regiment to which she was sent. There, she studied at Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music. Palmer later studied music at the Royal Military School of Music and at the Royal Academy of Music, majoring in composition and winning the Eric Coates Prize.

Jethro Tull and other works

Going about her early career as a jobbing arranger and conductor of recording sessions, Palmer recorded her first album project, Nicola, in 1967 with Bert Jansch. She was then referred to Terry Ellis, then manager of the early Jethro Tull, which was making its first album at Sound Techniques Studio in Chelsea, London. At short notice, Palmer came up with arrangements for the horns and strings on the Mick Abrahams composition, “Move on Alone” from the This Was album. This work and professional performance endeared her to the band and she was soon to visit them again, with a string quartet arrangement to “A Christmas Song”.


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