||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
|Birth name||Beverley Kutner|
|Genres||Folk, folk rock|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, guitarist|
|Associated acts||John Martyn|
While still a student, she was picked to front The Levee Breakers, a jug band featuring Mac McGann and Johnny Joyce, who played the folk circuit in South East England. At the age of 16 she recorded her first single "Babe I'm Leaving You" which was released on the Parlophone label in 1965.
Martyn was then signed as a solo artist to the Deram Records label. In 1966 she released a single, "Happy New Year" (b-side "Where The Good Times Are"), written by Randy Newman, on which she was accompanied by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, and Andy White. "Happy New Year" was chosen, together with "I Love My Dog" by Cat Stevens, to launch Deram as the progressive branch of Decca Records (see references). She also recorded an unreleased single in the same year, "Picking Up The Sunshine" / "Gin House Blues". These last two tracks also featured John Renbourn and Mike Lease. During this period she was taught the guitar by the folk guitarist Bert Jansch who also encouraged her songwriting. Her follow-up single "Museum", written by Donovan was released in 1967, produced by Denny Cordell.
Closely involved with the folk scene at the time, she met Paul Simon who invited her to New York where she contributed to the track "Faking It" on the Simon & Garfunkel album, Bookends—she says in the middle of the song: "Good morning, Mr Leitch, have you had a busy day." She later appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival on 16 June 1967, as did Simon & Garfunkel.
In 1969 she met John Martyn, whom she later married. As a duo they issued two albums, Stormbringer! and The Road to Ruin both of which were released on Island Records. Following The Road to Ruin, Island persuaded John Martyn to resume his career as a solo artist because they believed that there was more public interest in solo singer/songwriters. Although she was spending more time with her children, Beverley continued to contribute to John's solo projects until the breakdown of their marriage. The couple divorced during the making of John's album Grace and Danger in 1980, and Beverley retired from music for years.
In the 1990s, with her children now grown, she was invited to join Loudon Wainwright III on his European tour. In 1998 she resumed her recording career with the release of the album No Frills.
In 2004 Beverley Martyn's song "Primrose Hill" about the simple joys of domesticity, which she wrote and sang on Road To Ruin was sampled by Fat Boy Slim for the track "North West Three" which is on his 2004 album Palookaville.
At various times, Martyn has worked with Levon Helm, Jimmy Page, Dave Pegg, Richard Thompson, John Renbourn, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, and Sandy Denny. She appeared in the photograph on the album sleeve of Bert Jansch's 1965 album It Don't Bother Me; where she can be seen lounging in the background.
Martyn will release a new album entitled The Phoenix and The Turtle in 2013. The album features a previously unrecorded Nick Drake & Beverley Martyn song "Reckless Jane". The album features bass by Matt Malley (Counting Crows), drums by Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos), acoustic guitars by Mark Pavey, electric guitars by Jakob Nebel, Michael Watts and Strings by Owain Roberts.
- Babe, I'm Leaving You (McGann) / Wild About My Lovin' (Trad. Arr. Joyce) (June 1965) (with the Levee Breakers)
- Happy New Year (Newman) / Where The Good Times Are (Beverley) (September 1966) (as 'Beverley')
- Picking Up The Sunshine / Gin House (1966) (as 'Beverley' - unreleased)
- Museum (Leitch) / A Quick One For Sanity (by 'D. Cordell Tea Time Ensemble' - no Beverley) (July 1967) (as 'Beverley')
- Stormbringer! (February 1970) (with John Martyn)
- The Road to Ruin (November 1970) (with John Martyn)
- No Frills (1998)