Roy Guest, folk singer and impresario; born Izmir, Turkey, March 13, 1934, died Faversham, Kent, September 23, 1996

ROY Guest was one of those performers who, recognising his own limitations and others' talents as special, swops microphone for telephone and begins spreading the word with gusto.

As a promoter in the 1960s with Harold Davison and then Brian Epstein's NEMS, he oversaw London concert debuts by Simon & Garfunkel, the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, and as an agent he looked after the early careers of singer/songwriters Al Stewart and Sandy Denny.

Originally an actor - he trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where he formed a touring company which included Judy Dench and Ian Hendry - Guest became involved in folk music when he moved to Edinburgh to study Anthropology and Psychology.

He became a regular performer at the famous Howff folk club on the Royal Mile. Then, after a spell working in Greenwich Village's coffee houses, he moved to London to represent Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, and Paul Simon and opened a London Howff in Primrose Hill, where he championed Denny to an eager audience.

Although known chiefly as a folk music promoter (he set up the English Folk Dance and Song Association's agency and information service before forming his own company, Folk Directions), Guest's musical interests were catholic. While with the Davison agency he promoted Benny Goodman, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, and his frontier-hopping Pop Proms, held firstly in the Royal Albert Hall, the Roundhouse, then the Royal Festival Hall, saw Yoko Ono, Chuck Berry, and The Theodorakis Ensemble share the same bill.

Latterly, disenchanted with the music business, Guest settled in Faversham where, returning to his first love, he became chair of the local Arden Theatre Group. He also became involved in local politics and despite poor health - he had suffered from glaucoma for some time and eventually died of a stroke - he stood as an independent candidate in the local elections in May.