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|Birth name||Raymond Leslie Howard|
9 September 1941|
Fulham, London, England
|Died||19 February 2014(aged 72)|
|Genres||Blues, rock and roll|
Duffy Power (born Raymond Leslie Howard; 9 September 1941 – 19 February 2014) was an English blues and rock and roll singer, who achieved some success in the 1960s and continued to perform and record intermittently later.
Ray Howard was born in Fulham, South West London. He was discovered in 1959 by impresario Larry Parnes, singing at a talent show with his group Duffy and the Dreamers. He was renamed Duffy Power in the style of Parnes' other discoveries, such as Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Vince Eager and Georgie Fame. He recorded a series of cover versions of such songs as "Dream Lover" and "Ain't She Sweet" as singles for the Fontana label over the next two years, but unlike some of his stablemates failed to achieve commercial success.
He left Parnes in 1961, suffering from depression. However, he was introduced by a friend to the growing London blues club scene, and in 1963 teamed up with Graham Bond, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and John McLaughlin to record "I Saw Her Standing There", one of the first cover versions of a Beatles song. He continued to record for Parlophone Records through the 1960s, both as a solo artist, often backed by top session musicians, and with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, but the critical acclaim for his performances failed to be matched by sales.
Power also worked as a session musician, and played on the soundtrack of the 1969 film The Italian Job. An album of tracks recorded in 1969 and produced by Peter Eden was issued on the Spark label whilst in 1971 tracks recorded between 1965 and 1967 were released on Transatlantic as Innovations. In 1972 he finally released a solo album, Duffy Power, on the GSF label (GSF 502), produced in conjunction with Andrew Loog Oldham and featuring Korner. Dana Gillespie and others. Although by this time he was widely recognised as an impressive singer, his albums still failed to sell. His personal life was aggravated by depression and drug use and he succumbed to mental illness curtailing regular performances although the power and virtuosity of his harmonica playing gave an unusual dimension to Kathryn Tickell's 1997 album The Gathering.
Most of his Parlophone material including unreleased recordings from the 1960s were issued on CD in 2002 as Leapers and Sleepers. In 2006 a further retrospective Vampers and Champers that included the re release of his Translantic LP Innovations was released.
- Bruce Eder (1941-09-09). "Duffy Power | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- Colin Harper, article within sleevenotes to Vampers & Champers retrospective, RPM (2006)
- "Duffy Power 1941-2014". The Afterword. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "January to June 2014". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
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