Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny (1947 - 1978)

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Death: Died
Managed by: Michael Rhodes
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About Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny

<Guardian, April 27, 1978> SANDY DENNY, who has died in a London hospital aged 31, was one of the most individual and compelling British songwriters and singers of the last 10 years.

She was in a coma for four days at Atkinson Morley Hospital, Wimbledon, after falling down stairs at a friend's flat. Sandy, who died of a brain haemorrhage, was planning to move to America with her musician husband Trevor Lucas and nine-month old baby Georgia.

She was one of the originators of "folk-rock", a ballad artist of considerable sensitivity and insight, and a singer who could switch easily between high amplified rock styles and gentle emotional and personal solopieces at the piano.

Sandy's career started in typical mid-60s fashion. A student at Kensington Art College, London, she performed around the folk club circuit, introducing her own songs alongside traditional material.

She joined a then-struggling band, The Strawbs, with whom she recorded an album. Then, almost exactly ten years ago, she auditioned for Fairport Convention confessing after she had got the job that she had thought they were American.

In 1969 the Fairports reached their peak. By now Sandy was known also for her songwriting abilities and she seemed set to become a major artist.

But at the end of 1969, just as the Fairports were becoming well-known, she left and started a new band Fotheringay with Australian guitarist Trevor Lucas whom she married three years later. Fotheringay rarely matched Fairport on stage.

After Fotheringay she went on to make four solo albums which included highly personal, quietly introspective ballads.

From 1974-6 she rejoined Fairport Convention, which now included her husband, and their 1975 album Rising For the Moon was an impressive return to a strong mixture of rock tunes and ballads.

The public were not so impressed and Sandy quit again, returning to solo work. Her last album Rendezvous came out last year. At her last London concert her haunting, sensitive voice was as fine as ever.

She may have suffered from the whims of fashion and her own insecurity, but she had the personality and talent to develop even further. She'll be sadly missed. -R.D.

END

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Sandy Denny's Timeline

1947
January 6, 1947
1973
September 20, 1973
Age 26
1978
April 21, 1978
Age 31