b. 10 February 1928, London, England, d. 11 March 1994. A singer fiercely proud of her Cornish heritage, Wootton was often said to have regretted her birth in the capital, which was accidental. She grew up in the fishing village of Newlyn, where she soon became a familiar voice in the chapel and other venues. She joined many choirs but performed as a soloist for the first time in the mid-60s, at Cornwall’s first folk music club, the Count House near Batollack mine. There, only a few miles away from Land’s End, she befriended Ralph McTell. Although she would never see the acclaim that the latter artist enjoyed, Wootton did become a major force in France, where she signed to RCA Records. One of her albums, Lyonesse, topped the French charts for several months. Among her friends in the Gallic world were President Mitterand and his family. Unfortunately the onset of ill health prevented her from accepting an invitation to sing at the 200th anniversary celebration of the French Revolution. Despite her huge continental popularity, few outside of Cornwall revered her name, a fact partially explained by her choice of the Cornish language for many of her songs. She became a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd, and was seen widely as that culture’s greatest musical ambassador.
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