Early Folk-Rock pioneer Vince Martin, ‘Cindy, Oh Cindy’ singer, dies aged 81

Influential folk-rock singer, Vince Martin has died in a nursing home in New York, surrounded by family at the age of 81.

Martin has been hospitalised early this March after diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. His death was confirmed by Todd Kwait, who directed the 2010 documentary Vagabondo! about Martin.

“He was a dear friend for a long time and had a positive spirit about life,” said Kwait. “He loved people, he loved to be out and he had a sharp mind," he tells Rolling Stone.

Martin had his breakthrough when he released his 1956 pop track "Cindy, Oh Cindy" with the Tarriers. It was his only Top 40 hit that peaked at number nine. Eddie Fisher and The Beach Boys have both covered them in the later years.

The American singer/songwriter had a long-standing influential folk career shortly after that in the '60s. His fame became more prominent when he formed a duo with Fred Neil and released a seminal folk-rock album in 1964 called Tear Down These Walls with the likes of John Sebastian (The Lovin' Spoonful) and Felix Pappalardi (Mountain). The album were cited by many to be a major influence on the burgeoning folk.

Martin later released two solo albums under Capitol Records. The first solo album, If The Jasmine Don't Get You... The Bay Breeze Will, was recorded with the same band Bob Dylan has used to record his Nashville Skyline album. A self-titled second solo album followed afterwards in 1973.

Martin is survived by his daughter, Cara and three grandchildren.