Steve Benbow

Profile:
Steve Benbow (November 29, 1931-November 17, 2006)
Steve Benbow was one of the most sought-after guitar accompanists of the early years of the modern British folk revival, and also a fine singer. He made over 25 albums, and accompanied singers such as folk revival founders Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd.
Benbow was an inspiration to younger players. Davy Graham, whose guitar style affected those of Eric Clapton and Paul Simon, credits him as a primary influence: Benbow introduced him to Moroccan music he had heard while in the forces. Graham told the Guardian: "What he taught me was that you should never get stuck in one mode or style."
Benbow was never aligned to any of the sub-genres of the folk revival. Neither a traditionalist nor a promoter of leftwing causes, primarily he was an entertainer, performing a range of music from blues to jazz to popular English and Irish folk songs. Striving for an easy-listening appeal, his repertoire became less suited to the increasingly sophisticated folk-music enthusiasts and he found it difficult to regain that audience.
Nevertheless, Benbow made his mark on a wider audience through radio and television, starting with the radio programme Guitar Club in 1957. His skill as a guitarist led to a Scottish television series, Plectrum, where he demonstrated his style to aspiring young musicians. In the early 60s he presented Have Guitar Will Travel on Radio Luxembourg, the only folk singer to have his own show. In 1963 he co-starred in a London stage show, Spike Milligan Meets Steve Benbow, at the old Lyric Theatre, which led to a television series the following year, Muses with Milligan. He also fronted the television series Barndance and for a while presented BBC radio's Housewives' Choice. George Martin produced a series of novelty singles for him and he wrote a regular column in Melody Maker.
Benbow recorded two solo albums before forming the Steve Benbow Folk Four, including Jimmie MacGregor, who later teamed up with Robin Hall to perform regularly on Cliff Michelmore's television programme Tonight.
In 1960 Benbow appeared with others including Shirley Collins and Bob Copper on a trio of albums produced by Peter Kennedy of the English Folk Dance and Song Society for HMV: A Jug of Punch, Rocket Along and A Pinch of Salt. This led to the HMV releases of two of Steve's best-known albums: Steve Benbow Sings Admiral Benbow in 1962, and I Travel the World in 1963. He continued to record during the 60s, but rarely on labels that adequately promoted the albums. After several more albums in the early 70s — one of them with his long-standing friend Denny Wright, who had been Lonnie Donegan's guitarist — Benbow largely retired.
He never lost his passion for music, and from 1988 played twice a week at the Brewery Tap in Brentford. A new recording, Don't Monkey With My Gun, was released in 2003, but he was reluctant to travel away from home to perform because of his large collection of animals, including goats, chickens and a donkey. For several years he suffered from heart problems, which in 2005 prevented him sharing a London Concert with Davy Graham.
Stephen Benbow died after a heart attack, at the age of 74, on November 17, 2006.
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Artist

Steve Benbow Discography Tracks

Albums

F-LEUT 6 Steve Benbow Steve Benbow Sings(LP, Album) Folklore Records F-LEUT 6 UK 1960 Sell This Version
XID 5156 Roy Guest With Steve Benbow And His Folk Four Roy Guest With Steve Benbow And His Folk Four - The Wandering Minstrel(LP, Album, Mono) Saga Sovereign XID 5156 UK 1962 Sell This Version
CLP 1603 Steve Benbow Steve Benbow Sings Admiral Benbow(LP, Album) His Master's Voice CLP 1603 UK 1962 Sell This Version
SOC 919 Roy Guest With Steve Benbow And His Folk Four Roy Guest With Steve Benbow And His Folk Four - Bahaman Lullaby - Hush Little Baby(LP, Album, Mono) Society SOC 919 UK 1963 Sell This Version
CLP 1687 Steve Benbow I Travel The World(LP, Album, Mono) His Master's Voice CLP 1687 UK 1963 Sell This Version
F-LEUT/8, F/LEUT/8 Steve Benbow Tells About This, That And The Other(LP) Folklore Records, Folklore Records F-LEUT/8, F/LEUT/8 UK 1964 Sell This Version
RY 1005 Steve Benbow Journey Into The Sun(LP, Album) Reality (4) RY 1005 UK 1966 Sell This Version
Steve Benbow Of Situations And Predicaments (Album) Decca UK 1967 Sell This Version
Steve Benbow & The Folk Choir Steve Benbow & The Folk Choir - The Little Drummer Boy DJM Records (2) UK 1970 Sell This Version
FORS 032 Steve Benbow Next Time Round (LP, Album) Page One FORS 032 UK 1970 Sell This Version
ZS53 Steve Benbow Sings Irish Songs(LP) Rediffusion ZS53 UK 1970 Sell This Version
ZS 102 Steve Benbow & Denny Wright Steve Benbow & Denny Wright - Friendly Folk(LP) Rediffusion ZS 102 1972 Sell This Version
DT 009 Steve Benbow Steve Benbow Sings Irish And Other Songs(2xLP, Album) Peerless (2) DT 009 UK Unknown Sell This Version
MFS 447 Steve Benbow With The Strawberry Hill Boys Steve Benbow With The Strawberry Hill Boys - Songs Of Ireland(LP, Album) Monitor Records (2) MFS 447 US Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

77 LP-21 Steve Benbow With Jimmie MacGregor Steve Benbow With Jimmie MacGregor - Sinful Songs(10") 77 Records 77 LP-21 UK 1958 Sell This Version
JEB 1 Steve Benbow Steve Benbow And His Folk Four(7", EP) Collector Records JEB 1 UK 1959 Sell This Version
Steve Benbow The Amateur Whitwasher / Seven Little Gypsies (Single) Parlophone UK 1960 Sell This Version
Steve Benbow The Man Who Invented Beer (Single) Parlophone UK 1960 Sell This Version
EPM 7-112 Steve Benbow Steve Benbow Sings English Folk Songs(7", EP) Melodisc (3) EPM 7-112 UK 1960 Sell This Version
JEB 2 Steve Benbow Steve Benbow Folk Four(7", EP) Collector Records JEB 2 UK 1960 Sell This Version
45-R 4716 Steve Benbow O'Rafferty's Pig(7") Parlophone 45-R 4716 UK 1960 Sell This Version
EFID 1017 Roy Guest With Steve Benbow And His Folk Four Roy Guest With Steve Benbow And His Folk Four - Popular American Songs(7", EP) Saga (5) EFID 1017 UK 1963 Sell This Version
DB 7691 Steve Benbow The Gallows Pole(7", Single, Promo) Columbia DB 7691 UK 1965 Sell This Version
Lyn1384 Steve Benbow Tattered Doll(7", S/Sided) Lyntone Lyn1384 UK 1967 Sell This Version
DO 113 Steve Benbow Irish Rover(7", Mono) Domino Records (6) DO 113 UK 1971 Sell This Version

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