Ralph May, 3 December 1944, Farnborough, Kent, England. Having followed the requisite bohemian path, busking in Europe and living in Cornwall with his Norwegian girlfriend (and later wife) Nanna Stein, May began performing as Ralph McTell in 1966 (the stage name was given to him by fellow folk singer Wizz Jones). McTell emerged in the late 60s as one of Britains leading folk singers with his first two albums, Eight Frames A Second (1968) and Spiral Staircase (1969). The latter collection was notable for the inclusion of Streets Of London, the artists best-known composition. He re-recorded this simple, but evocative, song in 1974, and was rewarded with a surprise number 2 UK hit. Its popularity obscured McTells artistic development from acoustic troubadour to thoughtful singer-songwriter, exemplified on 1971s You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here, in which the singer tackled militarism and its attendant political geography in an...
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