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Frankie Armstrong

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Whether singing a cappella or with minimal accompaniment, Frankie Armstrong uses her powerful soprano vocals to breathe new life into centuries-old British balladry. Best known for her rendition of Peggy Seeger's feminist anthem, "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer," Armstrong has been an influential presence in England since 1962. A longtime member of the late Ewan MacColl's Critic's Group, Armstrong has been a frequent performer at folk festivals throughout Great Britain and the United States. While Armstrong's early albums focused on traditional ballads, she's branched out in recent years. In 1989, she collaborated with Greenwich Village-based folk singer Dave Van Ronk for an duo album, Let No One Deceive You, featuring songs by Bertolt Brecht. Armstrong's most prolific year came in 1997. In addition to reissuing a live concert recording, Ways of Seeing, she released an album of child ballads, Till the Grass O'ergrown the Corn, and a solo album, The Fair Moon Rejoices, which includes original songs, Leon Rosselson compositions and a series of William Blake poems set to the saxophone and bagpipe playing of Peter Stacey. ~ Craig Harris

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13 January 1941 in Workington, Cumbria, England

Years Active: