Iain David McGeachy, 11 September 1948, New Malden, Surrey, England. McGeachy grew up with musically minded parents and at the age of 17, and now known as John Martyn, started his professional career under the guidance of folk artist Hamish Imlach. The long, often bumpy journey through Martyns career began when he arrived in London, where he was signed instantly by the astute Chris Blackwell, whose fledgling Island Records was just finding major success. Martyn became the first white solo artist on the label. His first album, 1967s jazz/blues tinged London Conversation, was released amidst a growing folk scene which was beginning to shake off its traditionalist image. The jazz influence was confirmed when, only nine months later, The Tumbler was released. A bold yet understated album, it broke many conventions of folk music, featuring the flute and saxophone of jazz artist Harold MacNair.
The critics began the predictable Bob...
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