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Michael Chapman

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AboutMichael Chapman
Real Name: Michael Robert Chapman
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English singer-songwriter and guitarist (born: 24 January 1941, Leeds, Yorkshire, England - died: 10 September 2021, Brampton, England).
A self-taught musician from an industrial southern suburb of Leeds, Chapman paid his way through art college playing in skiffle bands, strip clubs and jazz trios, plus a brief stint roadying for John Cage ("He did a recital at Leeds Art Gallery. I took him to the market to buy fish to put in his piano"). He later packed up his teaching job at Bolton College of Art, becoming a big name on the Cornwall acoustic scene. As the tale goes, one rainy night in the late 1960s he went to a pub in Cornwall, but didn't have the money to enter. "So I said, 'I'll tell you what, I don't want to stand outside in the rain; I'll play guitar for half an hour for you,'" he once wrote. "They offered me a job for the rest of the summer and I've been at it ever since."
He first appeared on the London and Cornwall folk music circuits in 1967, alongside John Martyn and Roy Harper. He recorded his debut album in 1969 for the Harvest label which released 3 subsequent albums. After the release of Wrecked Again (1971), Chapman parted with Harvest, choosing to sign to Decca's subsidiary Deram, where he began adding electric guitar and harder rhythms to his work. Several albums were released on Deram during the early to mid 1970s including Savage Amusement (1976) produced by Memphis legend Don Nix.

The 1980s was a quieter time for Chapman. He continued to record for numerous smaller record labels, and played on the folk and club circuits. The late 1990s onwards represented a period of rebirth for Chapman. He enjoyed critical acclaim for his albums and attracted the praise of performers like Thurston Moore and Supergrass. The 2000s saw Chapman exploring his guitar player roots and releasing instrumental albums alongside his song based sets. He toured the United States in 2011. In 2016, Chapman celebrated fifty years as a professional musician.

Towards the end of his life he still played professionally and regularly toured in the UK, Europe and US. In a post to Instagram announcing the news, no cause of death was given, but it was stated that Chapman died at home (Wrytree, the old stone farmhouse on the windswept patch of the Pennines not far from Hadrian's Wall near Brampton). "Please raise a glass or two to a gentleman, a musician, a husband, a force of nature, a legend and the most fully qualified survivor," his family wrote.

Sites: michaelchapman.co.uk, lightintheattic.net, allmusic.com, Wikipedia
In Groups: The Academicals, The Michael Chapman Band
Variations: Michael Chapman, Chapman, M. Chapman

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