MICHAEL RAVEN ~
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Michael Raven was born in Cardiff of Lancastrian parents in 1938. He was educated at Towyn Grammar School and Keele University where he studied geology and political philosophy. He was a keen sportsman and in 1956, at the age of 18, he was the men’s Midlands Decathlon Champion. He did his National Service with the Cheshire Regiment on active service in Malaya where he was an Acting Sergeant and double Marksman on both the rifle and the Bren light machine gun. On leaving college he did a variety of jobs from pipe-line labourer to lorry driver before going to Spain to learn flamenco guitar. Shortly afterwards he became a professional musician, writer and researcher into the folklore of the West Midlands. To date he has some 80 books and 50 CDs to his credit. He was an active performer both as a solo guitarist and as a member of several groups, including The Black Country Three, which regularly appeared on radio and television. In 1972 he accompanied Mary Hopkin (Those were the Days) for a summer season at Margate and established the Stafford Spanish Guitar Centre. He spent several years full-time teaching at the centre and at Universities and Colleges of Education, and performed and recorded with folk singer Joan Mills. He then developed a keen interest in local history and photography and his researches resulted in comprehensive and highly- regarded guides to the counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire, books of landscape photography and original poetry. All his life he has been a dog lover and a supporter of The League Against Cruel Sports.
Michael Raven died on 15th April 2008 at the age of 70. However, he will live on in his books and recordings (see above for sales information). Michael was a guitarist, composer, poet and writer and his vast output will continue to be enjoyed by all those who admired the work of this remarkable and very special man.