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Dee Palmer (born David Palmer, 2 July 1937, Londonmarker) is a English arranger and keyboardist best known for having been a member of the rock group Jethro Tull. Palmer is a transsexual woman who was known as David Palmer for many years, including her stint with Jethro Tull. She is very open about her transsexuality and plans on releasing a solo album in the future.

Early career

Palmer learned to play clarinet during a stint in the Royal Horse Guards cavalry regiment to which she was sent. There, she studied at Kneller Hallmarker, the Royal Military School of Music. Palmer later studied music at the Royal Military School of Musicmarker and at the Royal Academy of Musicmarker, majoring in composition and winning the Eric Coates Prize.

Jethro Tull and other works

Going about her early career as a jobbing arranger and conductor of recording sessions, Palmer recorded her first album project, Nicola, in 1967 with Bert Jansch. She was then referred to Terry Ellis, then manager of the early Jethro Tull, which was making its first album at Sound Techniques Studio in Chelseamarker, London. At short notice, Palmer came up with arrangements for the horns and strings on the Mick Abrahams composition, "Move on Alone" from the This Was album. This work and professional performance endeared her to the band and she was soon to visit them again, with a string quartet arrangement to "A Christmas Song". Palmer arranged string, brass, and woodwind parts for Jethro Tull songs in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before formally joining the group in 1976 and primarily playing electronic keyboard instruments. In 1980, leader Ian Anderson intended to release the album A with other musicians as a solo project (under the name 'Ian Anderson') but was persuaded by his record label to release it instead under the 'Jethro Tull' name. This resulted in every member of the group, including Palmer, leaving except guitarist Martin Barre and Anderson himself. Palmer formed a new group, Tallis, with former Jethro Tull pianist and organist John Evan. The new group was not commercially successful, and Palmer returned to film scoring and sessions. Beginning in the 1980s, Palmer produced several albums of orchestral arrangements of the music of various rock groups, including Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, the Beatles and Queen.

Male-to-female transition

In 2003, Palmer's first name was changed to Dee and early in 2004, she announced having undergone sex reassignment surgery as well as having completed a full gender transition to become a woman. She said that prior to that, she had held the secret for about 60 years but had been married to a woman and had not transitioned for practical reasons. During these years, she was usually clad in decorative and gentlemanly attire, and smoked a "Sherlock Holmes" style pipe. When Palmer's wife died, she came to terms with being a transsexual woman and started her transition. Ian Anderson was one of the people from Jethro Tull to fully accept her, saying "I have known for the past two years of David Palmer’s intention to undergo gender-changing procedures and, like many other people who have known David for three decades as a bearded, pipe-smoking man’s man, I found it difficult to understand at first. But I fully support his decision to undertake a new life as a woman. To the many fans of Jethro Tull, I can only offer that they should accept Dee Palmer for her new persona and hope that they enjoy her musical activities in the future".

Jethro Tull Discography with Palmer

Providing orchestral arrangements:

As a full-time member:

Symphonic arrangements



External links

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