Tom Paley, one of the pioneers of the American Folk revival of the 1950’s, has sadly passed away aged 89.

Paley was an American folk singer and musician with a lifelong love of country music and “old-time” styles from before the second world war, and a man with a quite extraordinary history. He could often be seen playing at sessions at the Shakespeare’s Head pub in Islington, and at other venues close to the flat where he lived in north London, but I suspect that few of those who listened to his banjo, guitar or fiddle work were aware of his remarkable career.

Here, after all, was a man who had worked with those American folk legends Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly, had influenced Bob Dylan, and taught both Ry Cooder and Jerry Garcia. A passionate enthusiast for folk music and a performer with a wicked and often outrageous sense of humour, he continued to perform – and to record – for as long as he could. His final album, recorded with his son Ben, was released two years ago…  Read More



Tom Paley pictured above with Bucks’ Head of Copyright Shaun Hendry

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