LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Judy Dyble, an early figure of the English-Folk-Rock movement who was best known as one of the founding members of the group Fairport Convention, has died. She was 71.
A cause of death for Dyble was not disclosed but in November she revealed that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.
A native of London, Dyble ventured into folk music at an early age and by the time she was 15, she formed Judy and The Folkmen and the group began recording homemade demos.
While the Folkmen failed to gain traction, they brought Dyble to the attention of Ashley ‘Tyger’ Hutchings, who recruited her to sing for a group he had formed with Richard Thompson, and Simon Nicol that would serve as the nucleus of the English folk group Fairport Convention.
Dyble performed with the group during their early live performances, sharing the stage with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and she gained notoriety not just for her singing but her penchant for knitting while on stage.
“Well, I suppose that not many people did knit on-stage, and I only did that a couple of times. Silly, isn’t it? And the stupid thing is, I can’t knit. I cannot knit for toffee. Everything I knitted looks Eiffel Tower, because I’m useless at the tension of it: it starts very small and gets very big at the bottom, and I give it away as dish cloth. So it was just something for me to do while the big solos were going on,” she told the Let It Rock music blog in a 2013 interview.
However, Dyble’s tenure with Fairport Convention was brief and she left the group following their first album and joined English pop band Giles, Giles and Fripp, which later was known as King Crimson, after responding to an ad in Melody Maker.
She contributed on several demo recordings with GGF but left the group after a romantic relationship with bandmate Ian McDonald ended.
After her departure from GGF, she teamed up with ex-Them member Jackie McAuley and bassist Peter Sears to form Trader Horne.
Sears exited the group early and reduced to a duo, they began touring the UK extensively. Trader Horne recorded one album, “Morning Way” which drew rave reviews from critics and which has since become highly collectible with record enthusiasts.
Despite the initial blush of success, the duo split ahead of the Hollywood music festival in Newcastle Under Lynne.
In 1973, Dyble took a hiatus from the music industry after marrying DJ John Stable but she rejoined Fairport Convention to perform during several reunions, including in 1981 and 1994.
After the release of Trader Horne’s “Morning Way” on CD in 2000, Dyble launched a career as a solo recording artist and released a series of albums, including “Talking With Strangers” that featured collaborations with Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Julianne Regan, Simon Nicol, and Tim Bowness, among others.
More recently, Dyble performed at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention Festival with her own Band of Perfect Strangers; and she also reunited with the surviving original members of Fairport Convention in 2017 to mark the group’s 50th anniversary.
As well, “Between A Breath And A Breath” a posthumous album recorded with David Longdon, frontman of Big Big Train, which is due in September.
“It is with great sadness that I write to say that my dear friend Judy Dyble passed away this morning. Judy and I became friends during the writing and making of this album. Along the way, there was much laughter and joy – but also challenging moments. She was a woman of a certain age and she wrote articulately and unflinchingly about the autumn phase of her life,” Longdon wrote.
“She dealt with her illness with incredible courage and fortitude. She suspected this album was her swan song and she gave it her all. Judy reassured me that she’d had a great life. Which indeed she did. And I will miss her greatly,” he added.