Beverley Martyn  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Beverley Martyn (born Beverley Kutner, 1947, near Coventry) was still a student when she was picked to front The Levee Breakers, a jug band who played the folk circuit in South East England. At the age of 16 recorded her first single "Babe I'm Leaving You" which was released on the Parlophone label in 1965.

Martyn was then signed as a solo artist to the Deram Records label. In 1966 she released a single "Happy New Year" (b-side "Where The Good Times Are") written by Randy Newman, and accompanied by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Nicky Hopkins. "Happy New Year" was chosen, together with "I Love My Dog" by Cat Stevens, to launch Deram as the progressive branch of Decca Records (see references). She also recorded an unreleased single in the same year, "Picking Up The Sunshine" / "Gin House Blues". During this period she was taught the guitar by the folk guitarist Bert Jansch who also encouraged her songwriting. Her follow-up single "Museum", written by Donovan was released in 1967, produced by Denny Cordell.

Closely involved with the folk scene at the time, she met Paul Simon who invited her to New York where she contributed to the track "Faking It" on the Simon and Garfunkel album, Bookends. She later appeared with Simon and Garfunkel at the Monterey Pop Festival.

In 1969 she met, and later married, John Martyn and as a duo they issued two albums, Stormbringer! and The Road to Ruin both of which were released on Island Records. Following The Road to Ruin, Island persuaded John Martyn to resume his career as a solo artist because they believed that there was more public interest in solo singer/songwriters. Although she was spending more time with her children, Beverley continued to contribute to John's solo projects. However, his increasingly 'rock and roll' lifestyle and in particular, his heavy use of drink and drugs, led to the breakdown of the marriage. The couple divorced during the making of John's album Grace and Danger in 1980, and Beverley retired from the music industry for a number of years.

In the 1990s, with her children now grown up, she was invited to join Loudon Wainwright III on his European tour. In 2001 she resumed her recording career with the release of the album. No Frills.

At various times, Martyn has worked with Levon Helm, Jimmy Page, Dave Pegg, Richard Thompson, John Renbourn, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, Sandy Denny and Nick Drake. She appeared in the photograph on the album sleeve of Bert Jansch's 1965 album It Don't Bother Me; where she can be seen lounging in the background.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Beverley Martyn" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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