Brian’s Blog: My Conversation With Judy Collins [AUDIO]
You don’t get to interview a legend very often. I got to do so yesterday when I spoke with music icon Judy Collins.
Judy Collins is an American music legend. The following is from her official website bio:
Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and contemporary themes. Her impressive career has spanned more than 50 years. At 13, Judy Collins made her public debut performing Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos but it was the music of such artists as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival, that sparked Judy’s love of lyrics. She soon moved away from the classical piano and began her lifelong love with the guitar.
In 1961, Judy Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, at the age of 22 and began a thirty-five year association with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. She interpreted the songs of fellow artists – particularly the social poets of the time such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton. Judy was instrumental in bringing other singer-songwriters to a wider audience including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman.
Judy Collins is also noted for her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” on her 1967 album, Wildflowers which has since been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Winning “Song of the Year” at the 1975 Grammy Awards was Judy’s version of “Send in the Clowns,” a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical “A Little Night Music.”
Judy has continued an impressive musical career with an extensive catalog from every decade throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and up to the present. On July 27, 2010, Collectors’ Choice Music will reissue (digitally remastered) nine CDs of Collins’ Elektra titles: Fifth Album (1965), In My Life (1966), Whales & Nightingales (1970), True Stories & Other Dreams (1973), Bread & Roses (1976), Running for My Life (1980), Times of Our Lives (1982), Home Again (1984) and Christmas at the Biltmore (1997). These albums contain newly commissioned liner notes by Ritchie Unterberger that include interviews with Collins.
Judy Collins, now 73, is still writing, performing, and nurturing fresh talent. She plays 80 to100 dates a year around the country. Judy Collins, a relentlessly creative spirit, is a modern day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.
Some other interesting facts: She was born in Seattle, and played Yakima’s Season’s performance hall last January.
A recovering alcoholic over 40 years sober, Miss Collins was in Yakima to speak at the Sundown M Ranch Treatment Center’s 27th annual Merrill Scott symposium dinner. We talked about her message, the music business, and some of her philosophies on life. I found her to be very sharp, very thin, and very well spoken. And yes, her eyes really are that blue.
You can hear the conversation here.