Stephen Gerrard Woodruff was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, on May 7th, 1950. He was the first born child of William Gerrard Woodruff and Mary Jane Woodruff. His brother, Michael, came along in 1956 to complete the family.
During his teenage years Stephen took possession of his first guitar and began to teach himself to play. It wasn’t long before he realised that his developing passion for music very much focused on the blues music of America’s deep South, especially the early well-known and lesser-known blues roots musicians such as Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Reverend Gary Davis and Blind Willie McTell, to name a few.
Stephen learned fast and in a few short years he was playing like a pro. Aspiring amateur players who knew Stephen found it difficult to believe that his guitar skills were self-taught and developed over such a short time. They also couldn’t understand why he wasn’t pursuing a professional career as a guitarist. The truth is, Stephen, was a man who loved, and was dedicated to, his family; his wife, Margaret, and his three daughters, Sarah, Helen and Jennifer. The demands placed on professional musicians don’t always sit well with family life and Stephen wasn’t willing to put music before his family. He was a fully qualified tool maker and for many years he worked for BAE Systems building military aeroplanes. He worked in the aircraft industry until he retired at the age of 60 in 2010.
After only five years of retirement, on July 30th, 2015, Stephen’s family were devastated to lose him to cancer. This website celebrates the wonderful man Stephen was and also his music. There are few actual recordings of his guitar playing. The 29 recordings you find here were recorded when Stephen was only 28 years old, back in 1978. Please enjoy!
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