Scottish folk music legend Jean Redpath dies

FOLK legend Jean Redpath, who once lived and performed with Bob Dylan, has died at the age of 77.

Jean Redpath. Picture: TSPL
Jean Redpath. Picture: TSPL

The Edinburgh-born singer, who grew up in Fife, died in a hospice in Arizona after losing her battle with cancer.

She shot to international fame after moving to the United States as a young woman and was a regular on Garrison Keillor’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion.

After taking medieval studies at Edinburgh University, she arrived in Greenwich Village in New York in 1961, then at the centre of a folk revival.

There she shared a flat with Dylan and other future stars, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

After a rave review in the New York Times, she was offered recording deals and toured the world, performing in South America, Hong Kong, and Australia, including the Sydney Opera House, and performed often at the Edinburgh Folk Festival.

In 1976, Redpath embarked on a project to record all the songs of Robert Burns, some being folk songs, some Burns’ own compositions, and most a mixture of the two.


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She was appointed the first artist in-residence at Stirling University in 1979 where she lectured for more than a decade, and received an MBE for her services to music in 1987.

In 2011, she returned to Edinburgh University to become artist in-residence at its department of celtic and Scottish studies.