Duffy Power was born Ray Howard in Fulham, south-west London, and had been obliged by his parents to leave school at 14 and work in a bakery to help them buy a house.
The six singles he then recorded on the Fontana label between 1959 and 1961 were typical ersatz American numbers of the era.
Duffy left Parnes for the well-connected Joe Roncoroni and during his career’s second phase on Parlophone recorded five superb singles between 1963 and 1964, revealing a hugely versatile, emotive voice.
Temporarily without a record contract in 1965, Duffy threw himself into songwriting and blues-based performing. After fronting an LP by Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, Sky High (1965), he began recording a series of remarkable publishing demos for Marquis Music.
Forming a band called Duffy’s Nucleus with John McLaughlin, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, he released a version of the Big Mama Thornton song Hound Dog (1966), on Decca, but the group folded after only a handful of gigs.
Duffy then worked as a session musician, playing the harmonica, on the soundtrack of The Italian Job (1969) and on albums by Bert Jansch and Iain Matthews.
A barnstorming CBS single of Robert Johnson’s Hellhound (1970) should have revived his career but somehow failed with the masses. A 1971 UK tour supporting Argent, who also backed him on an unreleased LP, similarly yielded no breakthrough.
A self-titled 1973 LP for GSF was effectively the last throw of the dice.
Duffy went on to work for the DHSS for some years, before gradually re-emerging on the music scene through the patronage of Mary Costello on GLR and Paul Jones on Radio 2.
Tapes for a planned mid-90s comeback album, produced by the Cream lyricist Pete Brown, disappeared when the Magmasters studio went bankrupt. A further planned album in the early 2000s stalled, finally released in 2011 as Tigers by the label Market Square.
By then, having suffered a major breakdown in 2007, Duffy was resigned to retirement.
Duffy Power died in February 2014, aged 72.