Martin Carthy MBE (born 21 May 1941) is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music, inspiring contemporaries such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and later artists such as Richard Thompson since he emerged as a young musician in the early days of the folk revival. He was born in Hatfield and grew up in Hampstead, North London. After leaving school, he worked behind the scenes at the open air theatre at Regent''s Park as a prompter, then an assistant stage manager (ASM) on a tour of The Merry Widow, and then at Theatre in the Round in Scarborough. He then sang in coffee bars. He became a resident at The Troubadour folk club in Earls Court in the early 1960s. He joined Redd Sullivan''s Thameside Four in 1961. He is a renowned solo performer of traditional songs in a very distinctive style, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar; his style is marked by the use of alternative tunings, and a strongly percussive picking style that emphasizes the melody. His debut album, Martin Carthy, was released in 1965, and also featured Dave Swarbrick playing fiddle on some tracks, although he was not mentioned in the album''s sleeve notes. Carthy''s arrangement of the traditional ballad "Scarborough Fair" was adapted, without acknowledgment, by Paul Simon on the Simon and Garfunkel album recording Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme in 1966.