Martin Carthy

Genres: Folk World Music
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

21 May 1941, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. Carthy began his career as an actor but in 1959 became a skiffle guitarist and singer with the Thameside Four. He made his first solo recording on the 1963 Decca Records collection Hootenanny In London, singing ‘Your Baby ’As Gone Down The Plug Hole’, later revived by Cream. By now, Carthy was recognized as a virtuoso folk guitarist and was resident at London’s top folk club the Troubadour and most of the others that sprung up during the boom of the early 60s. There, he taught songs to visiting Americans including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, who adapted ‘Lord Franklin’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’ for their own records. With Leon Rosselson, Ralph Trayner and Marian MacKenzie, Carthy recorded as the 3 City 4 before making his first solo album for Fontana Records in 1965. On Byker Hill there was equal billing for violinist Dave Swarbrick, with whom Carthy was touring the folk clubs.

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