April 21, 1978 – Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny (Fairport Convention) was born on 6 January 1947. Known as Sandy Denny, she 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 fabulous 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 very obvious to others, as even during her pregnancy, she continued to drink and use cocaine.
The father of her child Georgia was Trevor George Lucas, an Australian-born and United Kingdom-based folk artist, who was also a member of Fairport Convention and one of the founders of Fotheringay. Lucas passed in 1989.
Denny and Lucas were married between 1974 and 1978.
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 accident, Denny kept experiencing intense headaches and 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 from blunt force trauma to her head. She was 31.