Unraveling the Mystery of Musician Nick Drake

Rob Reinhart explores the career of the singer on what would have been Drake’s 70th birthday.

English singer-songwriter Nick Drake would have turned 70 years-old this June had he not taken his life in 1974. He was 26. 

Drake released three albums between 1969-1972, but never gained a wide audience when he was alive.

Twenty-five years after his death, Drake’s acoustic guitar-based songs began to be rediscovered when Volkswagen used one of his songs, “Pink Moon,” in a successful ad campaign in 1999. 

WDET’s Rob Reinhart speaks with American producer, sound engineer, and manager Joe Boyd about Drake’s music and legacy. Boyd has done many things in the music industry and was heavily involved in the British folk scene in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Boyd produced Drake’s second album, Bryter Layterin 1971. 

In 2011, Boyd published White Bicycles, a book that recounts his time in the English music scene and his encounters with Nick Drake. 

“(Nick Drake) was ahead of his time,” says Boyd. “He didn’t sound like anybody else and so that may have contributed to the difficulties that he had in finding and audience.” 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation.