Judy Collins

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Judy Collins

Judy Collins (born May 1, 1939 in Seattle, Washington) is an American folksinger.

Contents

Biography

As a child Collins studied classical piano, making her first public debut at age 13 performing Mozart's "Concerto for Two Pianos." But it was the music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and the traditional songs of the folk revival of the early 1960s, that piqued Collins' interest and awoke in her a love of lyrics. Three years after her debut as a piano prodigy, she was playing guitar. She eventually made her way to Greenwich Village, New York City, where she played in clubs until she signed with Elektra Records, a record label with which she has been associated for 35 years. In 1961, Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, at the age of 22.

At first she sang traditional folk songs, or songs written by others, in particular the social poets of the time, such as Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan. She recorded her own versions of seminal songs of the period, such as "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Pete Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn". Collins was also instrumental in bringing then little known composers to a wider public; for example, she recorded songs by Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, and Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

With her 1967 album Wildflowers, she began to record her own compositions, the first of which was entitled "Since You've Asked". This album also provided Collins with a major hit, and a Grammy award, with her version of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now".

By the 1970s, Collins had a solid reputation as an art song singer and folksinger. She had also begun to stand out with her own compositions. She was also known for her broad range of material: her songs from this period include the traditional gospel song "Amazing Grace", the Stephen Sondheim Broadway ballad "Send in the Clowns", and her own compositions such as "My Father" and "Born to the Breed."

Activism

Like other folk singers of her generation, Collins was drawn to social activism. She is a representative for UNICEF and campaigns on behalf of the abolition of landmines. Following the death of her son, she has also become a strong advocate of suicide prevention.

Awards and recognition

Discography

Videography

  • Baby's Bedtime (1992)
  • Baby's Morningtime (1992)
  • Christmas at the Biltmore Estate (1998)
  • The Best of Judy Collins (1999)
  • Intimate Portrait: Judy Collins (2000)
  • Judy Collins Live at Wolf Trap (2003)
  • Wildflower Festival (2003) (DVD with guest artists Eric Andersen, Arlo Guthrie, and Tom Rush)

Bibliography

  • Trust Your Heart (1987)
  • Amazing Grace (1991)
  • Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength (2003)

Contemporaries

External links

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