born on 14/8/1947 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Madelaine Edith "Maddy" Prior, MBE (born 14 August 1947) is an English folk singer, best known as the lead vocalist of Steeleye Span.
Born in Blackpool, Prior moved in her teens to St Albans, where she befriended the young Donovan Leitch and Mac MacLeod in The Cock pub. She later formed a duo with MacLeod called 'Mac & Maddy'. She became a roadie for visiting American musicians, including Reverend Gary Davis. They gave her useful advice about singing British folk songs instead of American songs.
Maddy's father, Allan Prior, was co-creator of the police drama Z-Cars, and wrote Stookie, a 6-part series for television, about a boy with his arm in a sling. Maddy sang the title song, which was released as a single in 1985. It reappeared on the Steeleye Span album A Rare Collection 1972 1996.
After a brief stint with Mac MacLeod in 'Mac & Maddy' (another act formed at The Cock pub), by 1966 she began performing with Tim Hart, another St Albans resident, and together they recorded two albums before becoming founding members of Steeleye Span in 1969. They were the backbone of the group until the early 1980s when ill-health forced Hart into semi-retirement. Apart from the tambourine and spoons, Prior doesn't play an instrument, but she always gives a sprightly performance of her individual dances. In 1974 Ralph McTell wrote "Maddy Dances" in her honour, included on his album Easy.
Prior married bassist Rick Kemp, though they have since divorced. The singer Rose Kemp is their daughter.
Prior has recorded session work, albums of her own songs and eclectic styles from medieval (with The Carnival Band), through electric folk Steeleye Span and Maddie Prior appeared on television with a regular programme Electric Folk prog-rock and traditional songs, including session work on Mike Oldfield's Incantations. She left Steeleye Span in 1997 but returned in 2002. The 1999 album The Journey was recorded in 1995, when Maddy was still in the band but not released until four years later. She was also one half of the duo Silly Sisters, which helped to boost June Tabor's career.
Since 2003, Prior has run and hosted an Arts Centre called Stones Barn in Cumbria. Working with fellow singers and performers like Abbie Lathe and daughter Rose Kemp, Maddy has offered residential courses focusing on singing, meditation, cookery and performance. Other events, hosted by other teachers, include classical Indian dances, painting and drumming. Maddy campaigns on behalf of the charity Cancer Research UK.
Recent tours and albums
Maddy Prior took to the road with The Carnival Band in May 2007 for their "Music for Tavern and Chapel" tour. They celebrated the 300th anniversary of one of the key influences on their work, Charles Wesley. She made a guest appearance with The Levellers at the Solfest Festival in Cumbria in August 2007. On recent albums Troy Donockley has been a co-producer.
In December 2007 the album Ringing The Changes was issued. It is a collection of songs written by the band. In 2008 Maddy Prior appeared at the BBC's "Electric Proms". Steeleye Span toured the Eastern US, Australia and the UK beginning in 2009.
With Giles Lewin and Hannah James, Maddy completed two successful UK tours in the spring and autumn of 2012, and a third in autumn 2013.
In November and December 2013, Maddy is also touring again with Steeleye Span, on the Wintersmith Tour, following the release in October of their album Wintersmith, a collaborative project based on the novel of the same name by Sir Terry Pratchett.
A short tour with The Carnival Band in November and December, featuring carols and seasonal music, has become a regular fixture for Maddy in recent years.
In 2001 Maddy Prior was awarded the MBE for services to folk music.
With Steeleye Span
Prior was on all the Steeleye Span albums from Hark! The Village Wait (1970) to Time (1996). She then returned for Present The Very Best of Steeleye Span (2002) and subsequent albums.
- Woman in the Wings (1978) with Jethro Tull
- Changing Winds (1978)
- Hooked on Winning (1982)
- Going for Glory (1983)
- Happy Families (as 'Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp') (1990)
- Year (1993)
- Memento (best of) (1995)
- Flesh and Blood (1997)
- Ravenchild (1999)
- Ballads and Candles (2000)
- Arthur the King (2001)
- Bib and Tuck (2002) as 'Maddy Prior And The Girls' with Abbie Lathe and Rose Kemp
- Lionhearts (2003)
- Under the Covers (2005) as 'Maddy + Girls' with Abbie Lathe and Claudia Gibson
- The Quest (2007) (CD + DVD)
- Seven for Old England (2008)
- Collections 1995 2005 (2005)
Tim Hart and Maddy Prior
- Folk Songs of Olde England vol 1 (1968)
- Folk Songs of Olde England vol 2 (1968)
- Summer Solstice (1971)
Maddy Prior and June Tabor
- Silly Sisters (1976)
- No More To The Dance (1988)
Maddy Prior, John Kirkpatrick and Sydney Carter
- Lovely in the Dances (1981)
Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band
- A Tapestry of Carols (1986)
- Sing Lustily and with Good Courage (1990)
- Carols and Capers (1991)
- Hang Up Sorrow and Care (1995)
- Carols at Christmas (1996)
- Gold Frankincense and Myrrh (2001)
- An Evening of Carols and Capers (2006)
- Paradise Found (2007)
- Ringing the Changes (2007)
Maddy Prior and Martin Carthy
- Beat the Retreat (1994) Maddy Prior and Martin Carthy perform two songs, "Farewell, Farewell", and "The Great Valerio" on this Richard Thompson tribute album.
Maddy Prior, Giles Lewin and Hannah James
- 3 for Joy (2012)
Maddy Prior singles
- "Rollercoaster" / "I Told You So" (1978)
- "Baggy Pants" / "Woman in the Wings" (1978)
- "Just the Two of Us" / "Acappella Stella" (1979)
- "Wake up England" / "Paradise" (1980)
- "The King" / "Ringing Down the Years" (1980) (with Dave Cousins/Strawbs)
- "To Face" / "Half Listening" (1982)
- "Deep in the Darkest Night" / "Western Movies" (1983)
- "Stookie" / "Incidental Music From "Stookie"" (1985)
- "Happy Families" / "Who's Sorry Now?" (1990)
- "I Saw Three Ships" / "Quem Pastores" / "Monsieur Charpentier's Christmas Swing" (1991) (with the Carnival Band)
- "I Saw Three Ships (Dance Doctor's Christmas Re-Mix)" / "The Boar's Head" / "Poor Little Jesus" (1992)
- "All Around My Hat" (1996) (with Status Quo)
- "Forgiveness" (2000) (with Jennifer Cutting All-Stars)
- "Gaudete" / "Greenwood Side" / "Gaudete (extended mix)" (2001) (with Keltic Fusion; Maddy's voice is sampled)
- "Stuff" (2007) (with the Carnival Band and Terry Jones)
- Ballads and Candles (2004)
- An Evening of Carols and Capers (2005)
- Looking For a Grail Legend (2007) (documentary)
As a session or guest singer
She appeared on these albums:
- Shirley Collins: No Roses (1971)
- Jack the Lad: It's Jack the Lad (1974)
- Ralph McTell: Streets... (1975)
- Jethro Tull: Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die! (1976)
- Wizz Jones: Magical Flight (1977)
- Mandalaband: The Eye of Wendor: Prophecies (1978) on the track Like the Wind
- Mike Oldfield: Incantations (1978)
- Mike Oldfield: Exposed (1979) live album, re-released in 2005 on DVD-Video
- Tim Hart and Friends: My Very Favourite Nursery Rhymes (1981)
- Tim Hart and Friends: The Drunken Sailor and other Kids Favourites (1983)
- Swan Arcade: Diving for Pearls (1986)
- Frankie Armstrong: Till The Grass O'Ergrew The Corn (1996)
- Rev Hammer's Freeborn John: The Story of John Lilburne-The Leader of the Levellers (1997)
- Ayuo: Nova Carmina (1986)(Maddy Prior sings two songs from the Carmina Burana)
- Jennifer Cutting: Ocean: Songs for the Night Sea Journey (2005)
- Rev Hammer Freeborn John Live (2007)
- BBC Wildlife on One: Shadow of the Hare 12 April 1993
- The Times, 28 January 2000; interview with Maddy Prior
- Nickson, Chris. [Maddy Prior at All Music Guide Biography: Maddy Prior]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 26 May 2010.
- BBC Electric Proms 2008
- Martin Chilton, Maddy Prior: Vaughan Williams, Carols, Songs & Hymns: CD Review, 7 January 2011. URL accessed on 24 April 2012.
- Official website
- Stones Barn
- Park Records, Prior's Record Label
- The Carnival Band
Maddy Prior Peter Knight Rick Kemp Liam Genockey Ken Nicol|
Tim Hart Bob Johnson Nigel Pegrum Ashley Hutchings Martin Carthy Tim Harries Terry Woods Gay Woods John Kirkpatrick Chris Staines Terl Bryant Michael Gregory Mark Williamson
|Studio albums||Hark! The Village Wait (1970) Please to See the King (1971) Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again (1972) Below the Salt (1972) Parcel of Rogues (1973) Now We Are Six (1974) Commoner's Crown (1975) All Around My Hat (1975) Rocket Cottage (1976) Storm Force Ten (1977) Sails of Silver (1980) Back in Line (1986) Tempted and Tried (1989) Time (1996) Horkstow Grange (1998) Bedlam Born (2000) They Called Her Babylon (2004) Winter (2004) Bloody Men (2006)|
|Live albums||Live at Last (1978) Tonight's the Night...Live (1992) The Collection: Steeleye Span in Concert (1994) The Journey (1999) Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert (2006)|
|Singles||"Rave On/ Reels/ Female Drummer" (1971) "Jigs and Reels" (1972) "John Barleycorn / Bride's Favourite/Tansey's Fancy" (1972) "Gaudete / The Holly and The Ivy" (1972) "The Mooncoin Jig" (1974) "New York Girls/ Two Magicians" (1975) "All Around My Hat/ Black Jack Davy" (1975) "Rave On/ False Knight On The Road" (1976) "Hard Times of England/ Cadgwith Anthem" (1976) "London/ Sligo Maid" (1976) "Fighting For Strangers/ The Mooncoin Jig" (1976) "The Boar's Head Carol/ Gaudete / Some Rival" (1977) "Rag Doll/ Saucy Sailor" (1978) "Sails of Silver/ Senior Service" (1980) "Gone To America/ Let Her Go Down" (1981) "Somewhere In London/ Lanercost" (1985) "Padstow / First House in Connaught/ Sailor's Bonnet" (1989) "Following Me/ Two Butchers" (1989) "The Fox/ Jack Hall" (1990)|
|Compilation||Present--The Very Best of Steeleye Span (2002)|
|DVDs||Classic Rock Legends (2002) A Twentieth Anniversary Celebration (2003) The 35th Anniversary World Tour 2004 (2005)|
Francis Baines ·Phil Beer · Martin Bell · Dave Bland · Joe Broughton · Pete Bullock · Bill Caddick · Simon Care · Martin Carthy · Dolly Collins · Shirley Collins · Lol Coxhill · Trevor Crozier · Barry Dransfield · Howard Evans · Trevor Foster · Tony Hall · Sue Harris · Keith Hinchcliffe · Eric Hine · Ashley Hutchings · Nic Jones · John Kirkpatrick · Chris Leslie · Cathy Lesurf · Alan Lumsden · Neil Marshall · Dave Mattacks · Julie Matthews · John Maxwell · Steve Migden · Doug Morter · Ken Nicol · Simon Nicol · Gillie Nicholls · Philip Pickett · Roger Powell · Maddy Prior · Brian Protheroe · Jean-Pierre Rasle · Ashley Reed · Tim Renwick · John Rodd · Colin Ross · Ric Sanders · Steve Saunders · John Shepherd · Martin Simpson · John Sothcott · Roger Swallow · John Tams · Graeme Taylor · Linda Thompson · Richard Thompson · Eddie Upton · Lal and Mike Waterson · Dave Whetstone · Chris While · Kellie While · Ian Whiteman · Royston Woods · Pete Zorn
No Roses (1971) ·Battle of the Field (1976) · The Prospect Before Us (1977) · Rise Up Like the Sun (1978) · Lark Rise to Candleford (1980) · Light Shining (1983) · Shuffle Off (1983) · Under The Rose (1984) · A Christmas Present from the Albion Band (1985) · Stella Maris (1987) · The Wild Side of Town (1987) · I Got New Shoes (1988) · Give Me A Saddle, I'll Trade You A Car (1989) · The Best of 1989/90 (1990) · Songs from the Shows, v. 1 (1990) · Songs from the Shows, v. 2 (1991) · Acousticity (1993) · Captured (1995) · Albion Heart (1995) · Demi Paradise (1996) · Songs From The Shows (1997) · Happy Accident (1998) · BBC Sessions (1998) · Before Us Stands Yesterday (1999) · Christmas Album (1999) · Road Movies (2001)
Hopping Down in Kent / Merry Sherwood Rangers (1976) ·The Postman's Knock / La Sexte Estampie Real (1977) · Poor Old Horse / Ragged Heroes (1978) · Pain and Paradise / Lay Me Low (1979) · Wings (1998)
The Albion Band Live in Concert (1993) ·Live at the Cambridge Folk Festival (1998) · An Evening with The Albion Band (2002) · Acousticity on Tour (2004) · Albion Heart on Tour (2004) The Albion Band Live in Concert (2007) Vintage Albion Band (2007)
The Acoustic Years 1993-97 (1997) ·Along the Pilgrims Way (1998) · The Best of 89/90 (1998) · Albion Heart (1999) · The HTD Years (2000) · No Surrender (2003) · Albion Sunrise - HTD Recordings: 1994-1999 (2004)
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