Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny, 6 Jan. '47, London; d there 21 April '78) UK folk-rock singer, songwriter. Trained as nurse; attended same art college as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton; sang to her own guitar accompaniment in London folkclubs mid-'60s (The Original Sandy Denny recorded '67, released '78 had Tom Paxton, trad. English songs.) Joined Strawbs '67; LP The Strawbs, Featuring Sandy Denny incl. first version of her best-known song 'Who Knows Where The Time Goes', later covered by Judy Collins. Joined Fairport Convention '68; Simon Nicol said that at audition 'she stood out like a clean glass in a sinkful of dirty dishes'. Seminal LPs set scene for UK genre: What We Did On Our Holidays '68, Unhalfbricking '69 (sleeve photo featured her parents), Liege And Lief '69. Formed Fotheringay, named after Scottish castle, title of Sandy song on second Fairport album; band incl. Trevor Lucas (ex- Eclection) and Jerry Donahue, both later of Fairport: highly praised eponymous LP was UK top 20 '70; Nothing More/And Others was a compilation. Solo LP North Star Grassman And The Ravens '71 incl. Fairport and Fotheringay alumni, classic Sandy song 'John The Gun', covers of Bob Dylan's 'Down In The Flood', Brenda Lee's 'Let's Jump The Broomstick'. Melody Maker Top Female Vocalist '70, 71; appeared in all-star prod. of Tommy; sang on fourth Led Zeppelin LP. Sandy '72 was praised, had David Bailey sleeve photo, didn't sell well; The Bunch '72 again used Fairport members, an album of rock'n'roll covers incl. Buddy Holly's 'Learning The Game', Everly Bros' 'When Will I Be Loved'. Best solo album Like An Old Fashioned Waltz '73 (title song covered by Emmylou Harris). She married Lucas, who joined Fairport; Sandy rejoined for Fairport Convention Live '74, Rising For The Moon '75; worked at being wife and mother except for Rendezvous '77 with stellar lineup incl. Stevie Winwood, Linda and Richard Thompson, Gallagher and Lyle. Died of brain haemorrhage following fall down stairs in a friend's home. Island Records issued four-disc boxed set Who Knows Where The Times Goes '86, covering career before, during and after Fairport, over a dozen previously unreleased songs incl. some from unfinished last Fotheringay LP; three-CD version '92 on Hannibal incl. 43 tracks. The BBC Sessions '71-- 3 compiled on Strange Fruit.