Judy Dyble, the singer-songwriter known for her work with British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, has died at the age of 71. She passed away yesterday (July 12) after suffering from a long-term illness, her publicist confirmed.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that English singer-songwriter Judy Dyble passed away on 12th July 2020 following a long illness borne with great courage,” a press release reads. “We wish to express our deepest sympathies to Judy’s family, friends and many associates from her musical career at this time. Judy’s family would like to thank her fans for their messages and good wishes on social media over the last few weeks, but at this time ask that they avoid contacting them for now as they would just like some quiet time.”
Born in London, Dyble first started playing with her band, Judy and the Folkmen, in 1964. She joined the newly formed Fairport Convention in 1967, and left shortly after recording their debut self-titled album in 1968. She went on to become a vocalist for the cult band Trader Home and later sang in Robert Fripp’s early band Giles, Giles and Fripp, in addition to launching her own solo career. The singer largely withdrew from the music business in the 1970s to concentrate on her family, but appeared in several of Fairport Convention’s reunion shows, up until 2017 for the 50th anniversary reunion show at Cropredy.
Dyble released a number of solo albums in the 2000s, including 2004’s Enchanted Garden and 2009’s Talking with Strangers. After appearing as a guest singer on Big Big Train’s ‘The Ivy Gate’, taken from the prog rock band’s 10th studio album Grimspound, she formed a close working relationship with frontman David Longdon. Together they had been recording a new album, called Between A Breath And A Breath, to be released in September.
“Judy and I became friends during the writing and making of this album,” Longdon said in a statement. “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.”
He continued: “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.”