John Renbourn plays "Sweet Potato"

John Renbourn (8 August 1944 – 26 March 2015) was an English guitarist and songwriter. He was possibly best known for his collaboration with guitarist Bert Jansch as well as his work with the folk group Pentangle, although he maintained a solo career before, during and after that band's existence (1967–1973).

While most commonly labelled a folk musician, Renbourn's musical tastes and interests took in early music, classical music, jazz, blues and world music. His most influential album, Sir John Alot (1968), featured his take on tunes from the Medieval era. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

John Renbourn was Peel's favourite of the 1960s school of British folk guitarists. His records were played on the DJ's shows from the Perfumed Garden era to the 1980s. Peel discovered Renbourn's music, and that of his fellow guitarist and musical collaborator Bert Jansch, when he returned to Britain in 1967. On the PG, Peel played tracks from Renbourn's second solo LP, Another Monday, dedicating one track to his first wife, and also from the Jansch/Renbourn LP Bert and John.


John Renbourn-Lady Goes To Church

In his International Times column of 3 May 1968, Peel enthuses over John Renbourn's LP Sir John Alot (or, to give it its full title, Sir John Alot of Merrie Englandes Musyk Thyng and ye  Grene Knyghte), calling it "very good fare indeed...probably the best LP that the Transatlantic label has yet released - equalled only by the forthcoming Pentangle record".[1] It is likely that Peel's recommendations, both in print and on-air, contributed to the success of Renbourn's best-known LP. 

John Renbourn did sessions for Peel's shows both under his own name and as a member of Pentangle. Unusually, two sessions on which he collaborated with members of Pentangle were broadcast in successive weeks; the first, with percussionist Terry Cox, went out on 04 December 1968, while the second, with singer Jacqui McShee, was heard on the famous "John and Yoko" Night Ride of 11 December 1968.

Although Renbourn's subsequent recording career included two Grammy nominations, one of them in 1993 for the live album Wheel of Fortune, a collaboration with former Incredible String Band co-founder Robin Willamson, Peel does not seem to have played any of his later material.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None


No solo sessions. One session with Jacqui McShee, one with Terry Cox. Five as a member of Pentangle (see separate artist page).

(with Terry Cox)

1. Recorded: 1968-11-28. First broadcast: 04 December 1968. Repeated:

  • Moondog / Sally Free And Easy / Ladye Nothing's Toye Puffe / Lamento Di Tristan / La Rotta / Melancholy Galliard

(with Jacqui McShee)

1. Recorded: 1968-12-10. First broadcast: 11 December 1968. Repeated:

  • Watch The Stars / Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes / Every Night When The Sun Goes Down (My Johnny Was A Shoeman / The Lags Song)

Other Shows Played

(This listing is incomplete due to the lack of available tracklistings from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Please add any missing info.)

  • 16 July 1967:  Debbie Anne (LP - Another Monday) Transatlantic TRA 149 (track dedicated by JP to Shirley Anne Milburn, his first wife)
  • 22 July 1967: Ladye Nothinge's Toye Puffe (LP: Another Monday) Transatlantic
  • 07 August 1967: Buffalo (LP: Another Monday) Transatlantic TRA 149 
  • 14 August 1967: Another Monday (LP - Another Monday) Transatlantic TRA 149 
  • 28 April 1968: Transfusion (LP - Sir John Alot Of Merrie Englandes Musyk Thyng & Ye Grene Knyghte) Transatlantic 
  • 28 November 1970: Bransle Gay / Bransle De Bourgogne (LP - The Lady And The Unicorn) Transatlantic TRA 224
  • 30 April 1979: Bourrée I and II (LP - The Black Balloon) Transatlantic

See Also

External Links

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