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Royston Wood



Royston Wood
Born: Jan 1, 1935
Died: Apr 10, 1990
Genre: Pop/Rock
Royston Wood was a former teacher and advertising executive from Surrey who became one of the leading figures in the English folk music revival of the mid-'60s. Wood's enthusiasm for folk music started out as a spare-time avocation, as he sang sea shanties and traditional folk songs at college clubs -- he also had a preference for classical music, especially orchestral and chamber works. Wood crossed paths in the early '60s with Peter Bellamy, another folk enthusiast (who had started out from the rock & roll side of music), and, joined by Heather Wood (no relation), they formed the Young Tradition, who suddenly found themselves at the center of a burgeoning folk music boom sweeping college audiences in England. The group eventually broke up over their musical differences, but by that time all three were highly regarded in the new electric folk field, dominated by bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, whose members had come up in the wake of the Young Tradition. By the mid-'70s, Wood had joined with several Fairport alumni in the New Albion Band, and also recorded a highly regarded album with Heather Wood called No Relation.

In addition to the work of the Young Tradition and the New Albion Band, Wood also played and sang on numerous recordings by other artists, including the last album by the Johnstons. As a musician, in addition to his virtuosity, he was known for his voracious appetite for music and related fields -- when he pursued a new project, it didn't matter if his creative impulses took him into realms of music that were unfamiliar or into areas such as art or dance; he immersed himself, regardless. And he was a quick study, which made the process all the more remarkable to those around him, watching a musical and artistic savant in action. He almost certainly would have played a major role in music for years to come, but a car accident on April 8, 1990, took Wood's life at the age of 54. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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