English folksinger and multi-instrumentalist Tim Hart was born in Lincoln, a county town of Lincolnshire, England, on January 9, 1948. The son of a vicar, Hart was best known for his work with groundbreaking British folk-rock outfit Steeleye Span, of which he was a founding member. He began his musical career in the early '60s playing in a band called the Rattfinks while attending St. Albans School (also home to the Zombies). In 1966 he began touring English pubs and folk clubs with vocalist Maddy Prior. The two released a pair of well-received albums (Folk Songs of Olde England, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) before joining Steeleye Span in 1969. The band, formed by Prior, Hart, and ex-Fairport Convention bassist Ashley Hutchings, and rounded out by husband-and-wife team Gay and Terry Woods, released its critically acclaimed debut album, Hark! The Village Wait, in 1970. Steeleye Span saw more than a few members come and go throughout its long tenure (still touring as of 2010), but Hart and Prior served as the ensemble’s backbone through 1982 -- the pair managed one more release as a duo, 1971’s lush Summer Solstice, which featured string arrangements from famed arranger Robert Kirby. As a solo artist, Hart released an eponymous record in 1979 with help from a handful of Steeleye members, as well as a pair of nursery rhyme collections in 1981. Health problems led to a 1988 move to warmer climates, specifically the island of La Gomera, part of Spain’s Canary Islands, where he began focusing on family, writing, and photography. In 2008 he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He passed away in his island home the following year on Christmas Eve. ~ James Christopher Monger, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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