Roy Harper (born 12 June, 1941), is an English singer-songwriter who specialises in folk music.
Harper was born in the Manchester suburb of Rusholme, England. After the death of his mother during childbirth, he was raised in Blackpool by his father and his step-mother, whom he did not get along with because of her Jehovah's Witness beliefs. Harper's anti-religious views would later become a familiar theme in his music. At the age of 10, he began playing skiffle music with his older brother, David Harper, as well as being influenced by blues music. Leaving school when he was 15, he joined the Royal Air Force only to reject its rigid discipline, and then managed to feign madness (and received Electroconvulsive therapy) in order to get a discharge. Harper then busked around Europe until 1964 when he returned to England and gained residency at London's famous Les Cousins folk club in Soho.
His first album, The Sophisticated Beggar, was recorded in 1966 after Harper was spotted at the Les Cousins club and signed to Peter Richard's Strike Records. It consisted of his sung poetry backed by acoustic guitar with a revox tape machine. CBS Records saw his po...