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31-12-2009, 20:15
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Tim Hart, a founding member of the British folk revival group Steeleye Span, passed away on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) at his home on La Gomera in Spain's Canary Islands. He was 61. Hart had been diagnosed with lung cancer and spent the year in the U.K. undergoing treatment before returning to the island three weeks ago.

Born Jan. 9, 1948, Hart held jobs in the '60s as a bookbinder, blacksmith and hospital attendant and played at his town's local folk club at night. There he met singer Maddy Prior in 1965, and the pair would record two albums together before teaming with former Fairport Convention bassist Ashley Hutchings to form the highly-successful Steeleye Span. Hart would spend more than a decade with Steeleye Span, releasing eleven albums with the band -- the last being 1980's 'Sails of Silver' -- before leaving the group in 1983.

Following the dissolve of his first marriage and serious health problems, Hart relocated to La Gomera where he became a photographer and writer, snapping photos of the island and penning his own travel guide, 'La Gomera: A Guide to the Unspoiled Canary Island.'

"In what now feels like a previous life, I once spent 16 years as a member of the English folk-rock band Steeleye Span," Hart once wrote on his Web site. Hart would reunite with the band in 1995 for a one-off concert and perform with Prior once more in 2008, months before being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Hart is survived by his wife Conny, and his children, Kim and Sally, from a previous marriage.