Judy Collins
American singer-songwriter
Judy Collins
Judith "Judy" Marjorie Collins is an American singer and songwriter, known for her eclectic tastes in the material she records, and for her social activism. She is an alumna of MacMurray College, Jacksonville, Illinois.
Biography
Judy Collins's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Judy Collins from around the web
The Sunday Conversation: Judy Collins dishes on her Grammy nomination
LATimes - 12 days
In 1969, when she peered from her album covers with those piercing blue eyes and resembled the fair maidens she saluted in song, Judy Collins took home her first Grammy for her recording of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." Seven years later, she was nominated   for female pop vocal performance...
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LATimes article
A Grammy Nomination And Letters To Stephen Sondheim And Vladimir Putin: A Conversation With Judy Collins
Huffington Post - about 2 months
A Conversation with Judy Collins Mike Ragogna: Judy, you must be thrilled about the Grammy nomination for your album with Ari Hest, Silver Skies Blue. Judy Collins: Yes, I'm delighted! Ari and I are beside ourselves! MR: Before we get into your new project, A Love Letter To Sondheim, let's have a quick chat about Silver Skies Blue. Your studio collaborations with Ari Hest began on your album Strangers Again in 2015, right? JC: Yes. I put him on my Irish show for PBS in 2013 and we sang a song of his together. Then we recorded “Strangers Again” in 2015, I got a bunch of other guys to sing duets with me, but “Strangers Again” was really what intrigued me. I wasn't particularly interested in doing another album but then we started it going. We decided to write together and Silver Skies Blue is the result, and that's what we got our Grammy nomination for. MR: Were you surprised by the nomination? JC: Yeah, I was stunned! I thought they had forgotten all about me. MR: [laughs] A lo ...
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Huffington Post article
Grammy Nominations 2017 Include Beyoncé And Adele
Huffington Post - 3 months
Awards season is about to begin and music’s biggest night will be here before you know it. On Tuesday morning, the Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 59th annual Grammy Awards.  Last year’s Best New Artist, Meghan Trainor, got things rolling by revealing the general field awards on “CBS This Morning,” and more nominations were announced throughout the day.  Beyoncé leads with nine nominations, while Drake and Rihanna follow close behind with eight each. Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper is nominated for seven awards and Adele earned herself five noms.  Head over to Grammy.com for a full list of all the nominations for 2017: Album Of The Year: 25 — Adele Lemonade — Beyoncé Purpose — Justin Bieber Views — Drake A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson   Song Of The Year: “Formation”— Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé) “Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele) “I Took A Pill In I ...
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Huffington Post article
'Leaving The Table'--A Eulogy For Leonard Cohen
Huffington Post - 3 months
I have to etch these words into my memory forever, while they are still fresh, while I am still stunned, while I am still reeling: Leonard Cohen has passed away, aged 82 years. His music is playing on a loop in my room as I write this, his words are playing on a loop in my mind. I find myself suddenly making frantic online purchases of live Cohen recordings on vinyl--1970's landmark Isle of Wight album, Field Commander Cohen dating from his 1979 tour, and a 1988 concert from one of my favorite venues (Toronto's Massey Hall). Undoubtedly, there are millions of people all around the world who are feeling his loss. Perhaps they knew him personally during the early days in Montreal. Or they could have crossed paths with him in New York City at the Chelsea Hotel. Maybe there's a Greek family living in his old house on the island of Hydra, who could regale visitors with anecdotes left in its dusty corners. Maybe there's a woman in England who owns everything he's written--all the po ...
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Huffington Post article
Review: Judy Collins’s Clear, Pure Brook of Song
NYTimes - 3 months
Ms. Collins’s latest engagement at Café Carlyle emphatically shows that her pristine soprano is undiminished.
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NYTimes article
Neil Young: A Timely, and Timeless, Appeal
Huffington Post - 4 months
"The end of this war? The end of this war is when we solve the energy problem. This war is going on for a long, long time. This war will not go away until we figure out what we're doing here on the planet. This is a bad war." Neil Young 'The Charlie Rose Show' July 17, 2008 Even as his quirky yet essential place in the rock music pantheon was affirmed this month by his thunderously successful appearances at Desert Trip -- the massive, ultra-expensive mega-festival outside Palm Springs, California for classic rock aficionados, which also featured the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan -- recent events had also affirmed Young's sociopolitical relevance. Earlier in the year, Young, a staunch backer of Bernie Sanders, feuded ferociously with Donald Trump over the climate change denier and racism inciter's insistence on using Young's corrosively anti-corporate 'Rockin' in the free world' as his incongruous campaign song. Aft ...
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Huffington Post article
The Surprising Lesson I Learned From My Going-Gray Hair Experiment
Huffington Post - 4 months
Last spring, I decided it was time. I would no longer color my hair. I vowed that after my youngest child’s wedding in April, I was going to let it go silver. I’d had auburn hair since childhood and had been touching up the gray for about 15 years. I used to be able to go five weeks between color appointments. But recently, the roots were showing within a week or two. On my next birthday I would turn 70, and it seemed wrong to fight nature. After all, I wasn’t someone who would go for a facelift or even a smidge of Botox. I was a child of the ’60s, for God’s sake! And I would save so much money and time, especially when I added in the cost of highlights every few months. I boldly announced my decision to everyone I knew, including my hairdresser, Michelle. “I think you’re making a mistake,” she said, shaking her head sadly. But she had skin in the game. Gray Hair: A Double Standard My husband’s reaction was a shock. I expected he’d be perfectly fine with this kind of cha ...
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Huffington Post article
RIP Oscar Brand, Who Was Way More Than a Folk Music Footnote
Huffington Post - 5 months
If most deaths are like losing a page or a chapter, Oscar Brand's death Friday was like losing a book. The phrase "living encyclopedia" gets tossed around a little too loosely, but when it came to folk music in the broadest, richest, most satisfying scope, there's no other way to describe Oscar Brand. He was 96 when he died of pneumonia at his Great Neck, N.Y., home, according to his manager Doug Yeager. Less than a week before he had hosted his final Folksong Festival, the weekly radio show he launched in 1945 over New York's WNYC. He hosted the show for more than 70 years, the longest single-host radio program in history. That put him in the Guinness Book of World Records, and he could have had a double entry if there were a category for "least money earned from a radio show," because from start to finish he never took a red cent. And say, speaking of "red cent," perhaps Brand's most shining achievement was using the radio in the early 1950s to showcase music of si ...
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Huffington Post article
The Song - "Over The Rainbow" With Hillary - One Son's Dream
Huffington Post - 5 months
Ernie Harburg is on a mission. And when a man of 90, whose father wrote the lyrics for the song "Over the Rainbow," is on a mission... you listen. According to Ernie Harburg, this beautiful and iconic song, lyrics by his father, Yip, and melody by Harold Arlen, is a mantra. And in his way of thinking, it's a mantra for social justice, immigration, anti-bigotry and for believing in the right of home to be anywhere you land. "Why oh why can't I?" is Yip's question to Arlen's climactic music. (In Japanese, the words translate as "Why can't I do it?") Dave Ogrin, the composer of The Wild Women of Wongo, insists that Yip Harburg is the bar for great lyric writing. He said that every writer wants to write a song that moves people and endures in the way Over the Rainbow does. Bill Goldstein, of Motown fame and countless scores calls this song a "timeless classic." So why "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and why right now? Ernie Harburg supports Hillary Clinton. He says it's t ...
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Huffington Post article
Judy Collins And Ari Hest On Mountain Stage
NPR - 9 months
The veteran folksinger is joined by one of her favorite songwriters, live on stage in West Virginia.
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NPR article
Joan Baez Celebrates 75th Birthday With a Batch of Old Friends and Great Songs (Bob's There in Spirit)
Huffington Post - 10 months
Joan Baez gets taken for granted sometimes, and her new birthday concert on PBS reminds us why that should not happen. Joan Baez 75th Birthday Celebration, which premieres Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Ch. 13 in New York and airs on most other PBS stations in June, serves as a kind of highlight tour through a career that has stretched into seven decades. No one stays around in music that long without taste and talent, both of which are evident throughout the 17-song evening. While Baez is probably best described as a folksinger, she has always drawn her music from many wells, and on this night that includes Stephen Foster, whose "Hard Times Come Again No More" she performs as a duet with Emmylou Harris (above). She goes to the gospel well for "Oh Freedom" with Mavis Staples and a solo "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," which she prefaces with a story about singing it for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In keeping with her standard practice, Baez doesn't banter much between songs ...
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Huffington Post article
Words for Those Who Mourn for Bowie
Huffington Post - about 1 year
You did not lose David Bowie. Neither did I or anyone that I know because none of us knew him. It's an illusion. After my trip to Liverpool and London a few months back, I came home having drifted in reality for ten days with the realization that the Beatles were just actual, real people who I have never or will never know. I got as close as I could via their DNA -- and hanging out with the long and leggy Tony Bramwell. Years ago I got to meet Barbara Streisand in her house in Bel-Air and again, the overwhelming feeling (which I shared with her) was the overwhelming realization that she was a complete stranger. We had a good warm laugh about that. So listen... what are we really feeling today? Loss? You bet. But what exactly is it we have lost? I can turn to any one of my streaming or LP music sources and there David Bowie is, as alive and vital as he ever was. So what is missing now from our day to day? The loss of one of our gods -- as in, one of our "creators." Rock go ...
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Huffington Post article
For Love and for the Love of Lennon in New York City: 35th Annual Tribute Concert Preview
Huffington Post - over 1 year
"John was a great artist, yes. But he was more than that. He was a revolutionary, an activist who spoke truth to power and stood for something beyond politics and the shallowness of patriotism. He was a rebel, a seeker, a misogynist who grew to be a feminist, a violent man who became a gentle man. More than anything it was his growth as a man that was heroic. That is the journey we all aspire to. Call it the 'real hero's journey.' That will always be relevant. It's about the message that came through him...that message is as timeless as Buddha! John was a vessel for that message of love. 'Love, love, love. All you need is love. It's the word, love. Love is a flower, you have to let grow. Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is all and love is every one. Limitless, undying love that shines around me like a million suns." Joe Raiola Theatre Within Executive Director, Producer/Artistic Director of the Annual John Lennon Tribute, Senior Editor at MAD, comedian, speaker, w ...
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Huffington Post article
Remembering Judee Sill: A Mystic Walked Among Us
Huffington Post - over 1 year
A selfish motivation is the genesis lurking behind the creation of this post. Simply put, this writer feels oddly compelled to add to the emerging canon of articles and documentaries about the late singer/songwriter Judee Sill. Sometimes a story idea will haunt the writer until it is completed. Sill described herself as a "genderless angel." The patina of years has me convinced that Judee Sill, if not an angel, was truly a mystic walking in our midst, and we all overlooked that fact. Certainly the music business did. She wrote as if she were not part of this earthly plane; inhabiting exploding star clusters while riding ten crested cardinals and enchanted sky machines. Who could write like that if they were not exquisitely aware of something beyond, something extraordinary, and something worth the telling? For Sill, it was November of 1979 and not T.S. Eliot's April that was the cruelest month. She passed at the age of 35 of a drug overdose. This fascination with Judee Sill be ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Judy Collins
    FORTIES
  • 2012
    In July 2012, Collins appeared as a guest artist on the Australian SBS television programme RocKwiz.
    More Details Hide Details Like many other folk singers of her generation, Collins was drawn to social activism. Her political idealism also led her to compose a ballad entitled "Che" in honor of the 1960s Marxist icon Che Guevara. Collins sympathized with the Yippie movement and was friendly with its leaders, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. On March 17, 1968, she attended Hoffman's press conference at the Americana Hotel in New York to announce the party's formation. In 1969, she testified in Chicago in support of the Chicago Seven; during her testimony, she began singing Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone? " and was admonished by prosecutor Tom Foran and judge Julius Hoffman. She is currently a representative for UNICEF and campaigns on behalf of the abolition of landmines. Collins contracted polio at the age of eleven and spent two months in the hospital in isolation.
  • 2010
    In 2010, Collins sang "The Weight of the World" at the Newport Folk Festival, a song by Amy Speace.
    More Details Hide Details Collins joined the judging panel for The 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Annual Independent Music Awards, and in doing so, greatly assisted independent musicians' careers.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2008
    In 2008 she oversaw an album featuring artists ranging from Dolly Parton and Joan Baez to Rufus Wainwright and Chrissie Hynde covering her compositions; she also released a collection of Beatles covers, and she received an honorary doctorate from Pratt Institute on May 18 of that year.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1996
    In April 1996, she married designer and fellow activist Louis Nelson, whom she had been seeing since 1979.
    More Details Hide Details They live in Manhattan. Collins has received four Grammy Award nominations for Best Folk Performance or Folk Recording.
  • 1993
    She performed at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration in 1993, singing "Amazing Grace" and "Chelsea Morning". (The Clintons have stated that they named their daughter, Chelsea, after Collins' recording of the song.) In 2006, she sang "This Little Light of Mine" in a commercial for Eliot Spitzer.
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  • 1992
    A more recent memoir, Sanity and Grace, tells of her son Clark's death in January 1992.
    More Details Hide Details With help from her manager Katherine DePaul she started Wildflower Records. Though her record sales are not what they once were, she still records and tours in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1987
    In more recent years Collins has taken to writing, producing a memoir, Trust Your Heart, in 1987 and a novel, Shameless.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1979
    Collins' 1979 album Hard Times for Lovers gained some extra publicity with the cover sleeve photograph of Collins in the nude.
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  • 1976
    Collins also received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for Send in the Clowns in 1976.
    More Details Hide Details Stephen Sondheim won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year that same year, based on the popularity of Collins' performance of the song on her album Judith. Other Awards
  • 1975
    The single charted on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in 1975 and then again in 1977, spending 27 nonconsecutive weeks on the chart and earning Collins a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, as well as a Grammy Award for Sondheim for Song of the Year.
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  • OTHER
  • 1968
    Collins' 1968 album Who Knows Where the Time Goes was produced by David Anderle, and featured back-up guitar by Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills & Nash), with whom she was romantically involved at the time. (She was the inspiration for Stills's CSN classic "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes".) Time Goes had a mellow country sound and included Ian Tyson's "Someday Soon" and the title track, written by the UK singer-songwriter Sandy Denny.
    More Details Hide Details The album also featured Collins' composition "My Father" and one of the first covers of Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire". By the 1970s Collins had a solid reputation as an art song singer and folksinger and had begun to stand out for her own compositions. She was also known for her broad range of material: her songs from this period include the traditional Christian hymn "Amazing Grace", the Stephen Sondheim Broadway ballad "Send in the Clowns" (both of which were top 20 hits as singles), a recording of Joan Baez's "A Song for David", and her own compositions, such as "Born to the Breed". In the 1970s Collins guest starred on The Muppet Show, where she sang "Leather-Winged Bat", "I Know An Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", "Do Re Mi", and "Send in the Clowns". She also appeared several times on Sesame Street, where she performed "Fishermen's Song" with a chorus of Anything Muppet fishermen, sang a trio with Biff and Sully using the word "yes", and even starred in a modern musical fairy tale skit called "The Sad Princess". She sang the theme song of the Rankin-Bass TV movie The Wind in the Willows.
  • 1967
    With her 1967 album Wildflowers, also produced by Abramson and arranged by Rifkin, Collins began to record her own compositions, beginning with "Since You've Asked".
    More Details Hide Details The album also provided Collins with a major hit and a Grammy award in Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now", which reached Number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • 1966
    While Collins' first few albums consisted of straightforward guitar-based folk songs, with 1966's In My Life, she began branching out and including work from such diverse sources as the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel, and Kurt Weill.
    More Details Hide Details Mark Abramson produced and Joshua Rifkin arranged the album, adding lush orchestration to many of the numbers. The album was a major departure for a folk artist and set the course for Collins' subsequent work over the next decade.
  • 1962
    In 1962, shortly after her debut at Carnegie Hall, Collins was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent six months recuperating in a sanatorium.
    More Details Hide Details Collins later admitted having suffered from bulimia after she quit smoking in the 1970s. "I went straight from the cigarettes into an eating disorder", she told People magazine in 1992. "I started throwing up. I didn't know anything about bulimia, certainly not that it is an addiction or that it would get worse. My feelings about myself, even though I had been able to give up smoking and lose 20 lbs., were of increasing despair." She has written at length of her years of addiction to alcohol, the damage it did to her personal and musical life and how it contributed to her feelings of depression. Collins admits that although she tried other drugs in the 1960s, alcohol had always been her drug of first choice, just as it had been for her father. She entered a rehabilitation program in Pennsylvania in 1978 and has maintained her sobriety ever since, even through such traumatic events as the death of her only child, Clark, who committed suicide in 1992 at age 33 after a long bout with clinical depression and substance abuse. Since his death, she has also become an activist for suicide prevention.
  • 1961
    In 1961, Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, at age 22.
    More Details Hide Details At first she sang traditional folk songs or songs written by others – in particular the protest songwriters of the time, such as Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, and Bob Dylan. She recorded her own versions of important songs from the period, such as Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Pete Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn". Collins was also instrumental in bringing little-known musicians to a wider public. For example, she recorded songs by Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, who became a close friend over the years. She also recorded songs by singer-songwriters such as Eric Andersen, Ian Tyson, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, Robin Williamson and Richard Fariña long before they gained national acclaim.
    Collins' debut album A Maid of Constant Sorrow was released in 1961, but it was the lead single from her 1967 album Wildflowers, "Both Sides, Now" — written for her by Joni Mitchell — that gave Collins international prominence.
    More Details Hide Details The single hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and won Collins her first Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance. She enjoyed further success with her covers of "Someday Soon", "Chelsea Morning", "Amazing Grace", and "Cook with Honey". Collins experienced the biggest success of her career with her cover of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" from her best-selling 1975 album Judith.
  • 1958
    Collins has been married twice. Her first marriage in 1958 to Peter Taylor produced her only child, Clark C. Taylor, born the same year. The marriage ended in divorce in 1965.
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  • 1949
    Collins was born the eldest of five siblings in Seattle, Washington, where she spent the first ten years of her life. Her father, a blind singer and radio disc jockey, took a job in Denver, Colorado, in 1949, and the family moved there.
    More Details Hide Details Collins studied classical piano with Antonia Brico, making her public debut at age 13, performing Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos. Brico took a dim view, both then and later, of Collins' developing interest in folk music, which led her to the difficult decision to discontinue her piano lessons. Years later, after she became known internationally, she invited Brico to one of her concerts in Denver. When they met after the performance, Brico took both of Collins' hands in hers, looked wistfully at her fingers and said, "Little Judy—you really could have gone places." Still later, Collins discovered that Brico herself had made a living when she was younger playing jazz and ragtime piano (Singing Lessons, pp. 71–72). In her early life, Collins had the good fortune of meeting many professional musicians through her father. It was the music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and the traditional songs of the folk revival of the early 1960s, however, that kindled Collins' interest and awoke in her a love of lyrics. Three years after her debut as a piano prodigy, she was playing guitar. Her first public appearances as a folk artist after her graduation from Denver's East High School were at Michael's Pub in Boulder, Colorado, and the folk club Exodus in Denver. Her music became popular at the University of Connecticut, where her husband taught. She performed at parties and for the campus radio station along with David Grisman and Tom Azarian.
  • 1939
    Born on May 1, 1939.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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