Peter Bellamy

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Peter Franklyn Bellamy (8 September 1944 – 19 September 1991) was an English folk singer. He was a founding member of The Young Tradition but also had a long solo career, recording numerous albums and touring folk clubs and concert halls. He committed suicide in 1991.

Early years

Peter Bellamy was born in Bournemouth and spent his formative years in North Norfolk, living in the village of Warham and attending Fakenham Grammar School in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His father worked as a farm bailiff. He studied at Norwich School of Art, and later at Maidenhead Art College, under Peter Blake and decades later still retained something of the flamboyant art student image, being described as looking like a latter-day Andy Warhol, with blond hair, a scarlet jacket and yellow trousers.

Encouraged by his friend Anne Briggs he dropped out of college in 1965 to become a member of "The Young Tradition" with Royston Wood and Heather Wood. The trio recorded mainly traditional songs in close harmony and mostly without accompaniment. The Young Tradition projected their voices powerfully, clearly influenced by The Watersons, the Copper Family and Ewan MacColl. They recorded three albums together plus a collaboration with Shirley Collins called The Holly Bears The Crown. Although recorded in 1969 it was not released in full until the 90s.

The Young Tradition's final concert was at Cecil Sharp House in October 1969, after which they split up, with Bellamy wanting to...
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