He composed some of the most memorable 1960’s anthems
The Scottish Psychedelic Folk singer and songwriter Donovan turns 73 today
One of the most influential Folk poets and songwriters, Donovan Philips Leitch, known simply as Donovan, was born in Glasgow, Scotland on May 10, 1946. He became famous during the 1960’s and was back then considered as the Scotish Bob Dylan. His music style blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music. During the mid-1960’s, Donovan signed with Pye Records aged only 18 and it was also during that period that he befriended several English Rockers, including Brian Jones from The Rolling Stones. He later also became good friends with The Beatles and exchanged collaborations with the band, he also was among the persons The Beatles invited to their famous India trip in 1967 and can also be seen on the promotional Beatles films for “All You Need Is Love” and “A Day In The Life”.. Donovan wrote some of the most memorable 1960’s anthems, including, “Catch the Wind”, “Colours” and “Universal Soldier” in 1965, “Sunshine Superman” which topped America’s Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966, also in 1966 “Season of the Witch” and “Mellow Yellow” which was arranged by future Led Zeppelin John Paul Jones and purportedly featuring Paul McCartney, 1968’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, “Jennifer Juniper”, and 1969 “Atlantis”. It was Donovan who taught John Lennon a finger-picking guitar style in 1968 that Lennon employed in “Dear Prudence”, “Julia”, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and other songs. Despite his success during the 1960’s, Donovan stepped away from the music industry during the early 1970’s. He continued to perform and record sporadically between the 70’s and 80’s, however, without scoring any hit or without much of a visibility. His performing and recording became sporadic until a revival in the 1990’s with the emergence of Britain’s rave scene. He recorded the 1996 album Sutras with producer Rick Rubin and in 2004 made a new album, “Beat Cafe”. With his music being discovered now by new generations, Donovan keeps an active career and has never abandoned his Hippie and transcendental trademark. Donovan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014, he turns 73 today.
Watch Donovan performing “Season Of The Witch” in 1967
Listen to the compilation “The Essential Donovan” on Spotify
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