Nicholas Rodney Drake, 19 June 1948, Rangoon, Burma, d. 25 November 1974, Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire, England. Born in Burma into an upper middle-class background, Drake was raised in Tanworth-in-Arden, near Birmingham. Recordings made at his parents home in 1967 revealed a blossoming talent, indebted to Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, yet clearly a songwriter in his own right. He enrolled at Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge, and during this spell met future musical associate Robert Kirby. Drake also made several live appearances and was discovered at one such performance by Fairport Convention bass player Ashley Hutchings, who introduced the folk singer to their producer Joe Boyd. A series of demos were then completed, parts of which surfaced on the posthumous release Time Of No Reply (1987), before Drake began work on his debut album.
Released in 1969, Five Leaves Left was a mature, melodic collection, which invoked the mood of...
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