Michael and Donovan
by Michael DeGreve

Donovan came to fame in the United Kingdom in early 1965 with a series of live performances on the pop TV series, Ready Steady Go!, and his popularity spread to the US and other countries. After signing with the British label, Pye Records in 1965, he recorded a handful of singles and two albums in the folk music vein. After extricating himself from his original management contract, he began a long and successful collaboration with leading independent record producer Mickie Most, scoring a string of hits in the UK, the US, Australia and other countries, including several British and American #1 hits and million-selling records. Donovan was the first artist to be signed to CBS/Epic Records by then-new Administrative Vice President Clive Davis, who later became head of the CBS Record empire.

Donovan was one of the leading British recording artists of his day. He produced a series of hit albums and singles between 1965 and 1970. He became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones, Bruce Springsteen, and The Beatles. He influenced both John Lennon and Paul McCartney when he taught them his finger-picking guitar style in 1968. Donovan's commercial fortunes waned after he parted ways with Mickie Most in 1969, and he left the music industry for a time.

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