Donovan Philips Leitch was born on 10th May 1946. He invented his music style which is a mix of  folk, jazz, pop and psychedelia. In the 60's he started his career as a folk artist and became befriended with Joan Baez, Brian Jones and the Beatles. He taught John Lennon a finger-picking guitar style in 1968 that Lennon used in songs like "Dear Prudence", "Julia" and "Happiness Is a Warm Gun". His albums produced by Mickie Most are his best and are all from from the 60's.
Donovan in yellow with friends and the Maharishi in 1968
Donovan wrote and recorded the songs for his album "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" in late 1967. The rest of the songs in april 1968 after he visited the Rishikesh in India to study Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Other artists visited the Rishikesh as well like all the Beatles, Cynthia Lennon, Sisters Boyd, Mia Farrow and Mike Love from the Beach Boys.
Donavan with Jenny Boyd
Together with "Sunshine Superman" and "Mellow Yellow" they are his most essential albums.
Donovan in 1968
George Harrison even wrote a verse for the title song "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" but that verse was dropped to prevent the song from getting too long and so it could be released as a single. Donovan received a gift from George Harrison. An indian instrument called the tambura. Which can also be heared on "The Hurdy Gurdy Man". The song was intented to be for the band Hurdy Gurdy including Donovan's old friend and guitar mentor MacLeod. Donovan would become producer but the whole project was cancelled due to creative disagreements. So Donovan ended up using the song for himself.
Jennifer Juniper - single cover
"Jennifer Juniper" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man" were both released as singles well before the album was released. "Jennifer Juniper" was written for Jenny Boyd. The sister of Patti Boyd who was George Harrison's first wife. Donovan met both Boyd's in India with the Maharishi. He became impressed of Jenny's free spirited manner which is reflected in the song featuring wind instruments and a French coda.  Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones were session musicicans on the album who would later become Led Zeppelin together with Robert Plant. "The Entertaining Of A Shy Girl" is classic folk/pop song that only Donovan can do this well. "Peregrine" and "Tangier" clearly shows the eastern influences after his visit to India. A very good traditional folk song "The River Song". "West Indian Lady" introduces a caribbean influence, with flute and bongos.All in one a true hippy album!
Original album cover
The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Hurdy Gurdy Man / Peregrine / The Entertaining Of A Shy Girl / As I Recall It / Get Thy Bearings / Hi It's Been A Long Time / West Indian Lady / Jennifer Juniper / The River Song / Tangier / A Sunny Day / The Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow / Teas
The Entertaining Of A Shy Girl
The River Song