Judy Dyble, vocalist for folk-rock acts Fairport Convention and Trader Horne, has died at age 71.
The singer’s management and publicist confirmed the news via Facebook. Dyble announced in November that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was starting chemotherapy. “The mindless thing in my lung is malignant and is spreadings its tendrils far and wide,” she wrote in a statement at the time.
After playing in her first band Judy and the Folkmen in the mid-’60s, Dyble joined Fairport Convention and appeared on the group’s debut self-titled debut LP from 1968. She also made a cameo on the Incredible String Band’s album from the same year, The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter.
Following her stint in Fairport Convention, Dyble recorded vocals for demos by Giles, Giles and Fripp, the band that later morphed into progressive rock act King Crimson. One such demo featured the singer on “I Talk to the Wind,” which later appeared on the band’s 1976 compilation, A Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson. (The final, Dyble-less version highlighted the band’s debut LP, 1969’s In the Court of the Crimson King.) Dyble also released one album, 1970’s Morning Way, as a member of psych-folk act Trader Horne.
After decades removed from the music industry, Dyble launched a solo career in the early 2000s. Her 2009 record, Talking With Strangers, featured guest spots from King Crimson members both current (Robert Fripp, Pat Mastelotto) and former (Ian McDonald). She also performed with Fairport Convention’s first line-up onstage that same year.
David Longdon, frontman and multi-instrumentalist for British prog rock act Big Big Train, wrote a tribute to Dyble on her Facebook page. The duo recently collaborated on a new album, Between a Breath and a Breath, due out Sept. 25.
“It is with great sadness that I write to say that my dear friend Judy Dyble passed away this morning,” Longdon wrote. “Judy and I became friends during the writing and making of this album. Along the way, there was much laughter and joy — but also challenging moments. She was a woman of a certain age and she wrote articulately and unflinchingly about the autumn phase of her life.”
He continued, “She dealt with her illness with incredible courage and fortitude. She suspected this album was her swan song and she gave it her all. Judy reassured me that she’d had a great life. Which indeed she did. And I will miss her greatly.”
Two songs from the sessions not included on the LP, “Crossbones” and “The Daguerreotype,” will be released for free in the fall as a tribute to Dyble via Bandcamp. Per her request, fans are encouraged to donate to the singer’s chosen charity, the Barley Greyhound Sanctuary.