Folk guitarist Davy Graham, a major influence on artists like Led Zeppelin and Simon & Garfunkel, passed away on December 15th at the age of 68. According to Graham´s manager, the fingerstyle guitar great was diagnosed with lung cancer only a few weeks ago and suffered a seizure. With his 1962 debut EP 3/4 AD, Graham introduced his most famous composition, the instrumental ´Anji,´ a song that was later covered by Simon & Garfunkel for their Sounds of Silence album. Graham´s ´She Moved Thru the Fair´ also reportedly heavily influenced Jimmy Page on the Yardbirds´ (and later Led Zeppelin´s) ´White Summer,´ even though Graham didn´t receive a song credit. A private service for Graham will be held this week, with a public memorial planned for January.
Folk legend Davy Graham dies
Legendary folk musician Davy Graham passed away on Monday. He was 68. Graham´s manager Mark Pavey told the Guardian: ´He was diagnosed with lung cancer only weeks ago and suffered a seizure at his home at around 3.30pm yesterday.´
The guitarist was noted for his role in the 1960s folk revival, and his impeccable acoustic style influenced everyone from Bert Jansch to Paul Simon. Born to a Guyanese mother and a Scottish father, Graham took up the guitar in his teens and was later discovered by blues musician Alexis Korner. Korner once wrote that Graham was ´a genuinely gifted guitarist who, rightly, refuses to let himself be fenced into one field of music.´
His debut release in 1962, the EP 3/4 AD, contained his most famous composition, Anji. Inspired by his girlfriend at the time, the song took on a life of its own (hence the varied spellings of its title) as it was covered by many artists, including Simon and Garfunkle on their 1966 album Sound of Silence.
Graham is credited with touching on a wide range of influences in his music, particularly jazz and blues, as well as elements from a wider world of sounds, such as Indian or Arabic, that were not particularly well-known at the time.
Pavey said there would be a private funeral held for Graham this week and a public memorial service is being planned for January. Further details of the service will be posted on Davy Graham´s website.