Judy Dyble, a Singer in Fairport Convention and Beyond, Dies at 71


Judy Dyble, a singer and songwriter who was in the first recorded lineup of the British folk-rock institution Fairport Convention before going on to an extensive, though interrupted, recording career, died on Sunday in Oxfordshire, England. She was 71.

Her death, at a hospital, was announced on her Facebook page. No specific cause was given, but she learned she had lung cancer in 2019. She had lived in Oxfordshire since the 1970s.

With her crystalline soprano voice, Ms. Dyble emerged from London’s early 1960s folk scene as a teenager and joined the newly formed Fairport Convention in 1967. Fairport Convention set out to create a distinctively British folk-rock, glancing toward American rock ’n’ roll, psychedelia and country but also drawing on centuries of Celtic tradition. The band spawned a durable British genre: trad-rock.

She continued to record with other collaborators — in songs that ranged from intricate folk-pop to boundary-stretching suites — on “Talking With Strangers” (2009), “Starcrazy” (2011), “Flow and Change” (2013), “Earth Is Sleeping” and a 2017 duet album with Andy Lewis, “Summer Dancing.”

Ms. Dyble was reluctant to categorize her music. “All the lyrics I sing have a story behind them, and I guess that’s what the folky thing is,” she said in a 2013 interview with the website Let It Rock. “But I try not to tell a whole story; I just try to tell something that means something to me and it might resonate with someone else, but it might not mean the same thing.”

In 2015, she released “Gathering the Threads,” an anthology of her own rare recordings, while she worked with Dave Thompson on her autobiography, “An Accidental Musician” (2016).

Ms. Dyble performed a few gigs a year with her Band of Perfect Strangers, and recorded live albums at club shows. In 2015, she reunited with Jerry McAuley of Trader Horne for a 45th-anniversary performance of their album.

Ms. Dyble recorded with the progressive-rock band Big Big Train on “The Ivy Gate” and began writing songs with the band’s singer, David Longdon. Their album, “Between a Breath and a Breath,” is due for release in September under the name Dyble Longdon.

Announcing the album, Ms. Dyble wrote, “Quite a few of my lyrics have a touch of sadness about them but always with an optimism for the future and a desire to know what happens next.”



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