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Sandy Denny

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(1947 – 1978)

Sandy Denny (Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny, 6 January, 1947 – 21 April, 1978) was an English singer and songwriter, perhaps best known as the lead singer for the folk rock band Fairport Convention. She has been described as “the pre-eminent British folk rock singer”.

After briefly working with British folk band the Strawbs, Denny joined Fairport Convention in 1968, remaining with that band until the end of 1969. She formed the short-lived band Fotheringay in 1970, releasing one album with them (another unreleased album surfaced over thirty years later), before focusing on a solo career. Between 1971 and 1977, Denny released four solo albums: The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, Sandy, Like an Old Fashioned Waltz, and Rendezvous. She is also noted as the only guest vocalist on a Led Zeppelin studio album, when she shared a duet with Robert Plant for “The Battle of Evermore” on Led Zeppelin IV (1971).
Music publications Sunday Express, Uncut and Mojo have each called Denny Britain’s finest female singer-songwriter. Her composition “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” has been recorded by many artists as diverse as Judy Collins, Nina Simone, 10,000 Maniacs and Cat Power.

Denny was born on 6 January 1947 at Nelson Hospital, Kingston Road, Merton Park, London. She studied classical piano as a child. Her Scottish grandmother was a singer of traditional songs. At an early age Denny showed an interest in singing, although her strict parents were reluctant to believe there was a living to be made from it. Sandy Denny attended Coombe Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames. After leaving school, she started training as a nurse at the Royal Brompton Hospital.

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  • reinderd

    @Dayvenkirq well the album exists. Some people out there have heard it and tracks from it have been played on BBC 6 (I think it was). Its release status is another matter.

    8 Apr 12:53pm Reply
  • Drazba

    Love her. God bless

    30 Jan 10:56pm Reply
  • Dayvenkirq

    @reinderd: Hasn't it been two years since she stated so? Not saying I can't wait; I can.

    21 Jan 5:11am Reply
  • reinderd

    97K now. Everything gets forgotten eventually, but I'd like to help delay the inevitable for some artists. BTW Shelagh McDonald had a feature interview in the Guardian last October and is working on a new album, over four decades after her last one.

    8 Dec 2013 Reply
  • jreare

    Yeah, I'd even say she's forgotten now. 93k listeners isn't really a big number. Others, like Shelagh McDonald (another amazing British folk voice and songwriter) have it worse, though.

    25 May 2013 Reply
  • firefly2811

    great british folk singer

    23 May 2013 Reply
  • right33

    yes! more have turned up the last few years, I think even a few live Fotheringay clips. a shame she'll probably be forgotten in the nearish future; more history washed away

    21 May 2013 Reply
  • jreare

    @right33 - you might like this one, then, too. A great pity that there are so few videos of her remaining.

    16 May 2013 Reply
  • NOHIDDENPATH

    i love her vocals on Battle Of Evermore :) Musician and critic Jonathan Wingate told me my voice and songs made him think of singers like Sandy Denny...! So would love some feedback, if any of you Lastfm members are on Soundcloud (soundcloud/dolores-3) Personally i don't think i really sound like her, altho' i love folk and rock and all genres inbetween. I think she's one of those singers who could embrace different genres and sound great all the time. RIP Sandy. Noone around these days who sounds like her?

    10 May 2013 Reply
  • right33

    i adore that clip, thanks for posting it so I could hear it again

    9 May 2013 Reply
  • jreare

    Exactly 35 years since her death today... You all, who got to hear her live should consider yourself really lucky. I'd pay shamefully large amounts of money just to be able to hear and see this...

    21 Apr 2013 Reply
  • FernandoVGP

    :)))

    6 Jan 2013 Reply
  • TheMongKey

    Yes.

    25 Nov 2012 Reply
  • right33

    her music and voice are so brilliant that i can only handle it once in a while

    20 Oct 2012 Reply
  • FernandoVGP

    Que voz linda.

    25 Aug 2012 Reply
  • shaantigraphics

    Unparalleled!!!

    26 Jul 2012 Reply
  • CybrKhatru

    gone 34 years ago today...

    22 Apr 2012 Reply
  • BeePositive

    Autopsy...one of my all time favorites :-)

    11 Apr 2012 Reply
  • grendelis

    Related upcoming gig - The Lady: Homage to Sandy Denny at the Barbican, London, 23 May 2012

    12 Mar 2012 Reply
  • grantmarteeth

    she was so pretty.

    6 Mar 2012 Reply
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