British folk musician Davy Graham dies


Virtuoso guitarist Davy Graham, a leading figure in Britain's 1960s folk music revival, has died. He was 68. Graham died of a seizure in his London home on Monday, his former manager Mark Pavey said Wednesday. The musician had long suffered from lung cancer, he said.

Graham's innovative tuning and dexterity on the acoustic guitar inspired a range of artists. His 1962 song "Angi" became a folk classic and was covered, among others, by Simon and Garfunkle on their 1966 album "Sounds of Silence."

Graham drew on a range of influences, including jazz, classical, Indian and Arabic music. Pavey said it was Graham's unusual family background - his mother was from South America, his father from a remote Scottish island - and access to blues records through his work at the British Library that decisively shaped his sound.

"Davy started unusual alternate tunings for guitars that really caught on, " according to Dick Boak, the artist relations manager at C.F. Martin & Co., the famous U.S. guitar maker. "He influenced Paul Simon, of course, and John Renbourn, and Laurence Juber, and many others. Just about anybody who has anything remotely to do with finger-style guitar has to in some way pay tribute to Davy."

Even though the song "Angi" became known to a generation of aspiring guitarists, Pavey said Graham had difficulty translating his following into a fan base.

"Personally, he was quite unpredictable, " Pavey said, calling him more "a student of the music" than a performer.

Pavey said Graham is survived by his two daughters, Mercy and Kim. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced but a public ceremony is planned for January.

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