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Steve Benbow


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Steve Benbow (29th November 1931 - 17th November 2006) was a British folk and jazz musician. He was most active between 1957 and 1977, in demand as guitarist by all the big names in folk music, including Alan Lomax, Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor, Pete Seeger and Peggy Seeger, Alex Campbell, Martin Carthy and Cy Grant, as well as mainstream entertainers like Michael Holliday, Rolf Harris, Long John Baldry and hit parade street singer Don Partridge.

As a teenager, Benbow enjoyed the folk songs of Burl Ives. In 1955 he began playing in pubs and at parties just as skiffle was becoming the rage. He met Peter Kennedy, that great folklorist and collector, who introduced him to Denis Preston of `Lansdown Records’ who recorded a radio series, `Have Guitar, Will Travel’ and sold it to Radio Luxembourg. Steve was the only folk singer to have his own Luxembourg series.

1957 was a busy year for Steve and the beginning of a long and successful career. Ewan McColl took him to Moscow to accompany him and, thereafter, he was sought out by every famous folk singer that needed a guitarist. This was when he recorded `Thar She Blows’ and `Sporting Blades’ with A.L Lloyd and Ewan McColl and began recording his own LPs. A more detailed account of this can be found in `The Guinness Who’s Who of Folk Music’.

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