Sandy Denny (Wikimedia Commons / Island Records)
Thirty-five years ago today, the world lost a legend of folk music, one who continues to influence contemporary musicians. Sandy Denny was one of England's greatest folk singers. She is best remembered for her melancholy composition "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?"
Forty years after its 1967 release, the song was voted "Favourite Folk Track of All Time" in a BBC Radio 2 listener poll. It's been covered over and over again, by artists as diverse as Nina Simone, 10,000 Maniacs, Nanci Griffith and Susanna Hoffs. It's appeared on soundtracks for both movies and TV shows and even in lists of songs about death.
But though the lovely ballad is often what we think of when we think of Sandy Denny, it isn't her only claim to fame. In addition to her many albums and singles, she holds a unique distinction: she was the only guest vocalist ever to sing on a Led Zeppelin studio album. Her duet with Robert Plant in "The Battle of Evermore" is as ethereally beautiful as her solo work.
Sandy Denny's songs still resonate today, sounding just as fresh in the hands of current artists as they did when Denny sang them decades ago. Here's her "The North Star Grassman and the Ravens" being performed by singer and musician (and Andy Samberg fiancée) Joanna Newsom.
Written by Linnea Crowther. Find her on Google+.