Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny (6 January 1947 – 21 April 1978) — known as Sandy Denny, was one of my favorite sixties’ British folk rock singers. She was the lead singer for the folk rock band Fairport Convention in 1968 and 69, but besides that she was a great songwriter, notably her most famous song was ‘Who knows Where the Time Goes’, which has been covered by a myriad of artists since, most famously, 10,000 Maniacs, Judy Collins, Nana Mouskouri, Eva Cassidy, Nina Simone, Sinéad O’Connor, to name a few.
Much of Sandy Denny’s body of work came into focus after she died in 1978. Denny had apparently suffered from substance abuse problems for some time, and by 1977 her addictions were obvious to others. During her pregnancy, she drank and took cocaine.
In late March 1978, while on holiday with her parents and baby Georgia in Cornwall, Denny was injured when she fell down a staircase and hit her head on concrete. Following the incident, Denny suffered from intense headaches; a doctor prescribed her the painkiller Distalgesic, a drug known to have fatal side effects when mixed with alcohol.
On 17 April, Denny collapsed and fell into a coma while at friend’s home. Four days later, she died at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon. Her death was ruled to be the result of a traumatic mid-brain hemorrhage and blunt force trauma to her head.