Inducted: November 8, 2013

Judy Collins

Judy Collins claims Colorado as her home state, as her family moved from Seattle to Denver in 1949, when she was 10. Her father was a singer, composer and broadcasting personality, and she appeared as a youngster on his KOA radio program, Chuck Collins Calling. Shortly after arriving in Colorado, Collins began the study of classical piano with Dr. Antonia Brico, a conductor and pianist who devoted her life to fighting prejudice against women in the orchestral world, and she debuted with the Denver Businessmen’s Orchestra when she was just a teenager.

By the time she was a student at Denver’s East High School, Collins had traded the classical piano for a secondhand guitar, a gift from her father.

Turning to folk music, she combined her father’s love of popular Irish tunes with the influence of Lingo the Drifter (T.D. Lingo), an enigmatic Lookout Mountain resident who taught her the songs of Woody Guthrie and Josh White. At 20, the new mother and wife won an audition for a job at Michael’s Pub in Boulder, earning $100 a week plus pizza and 3.2 beer. She launched her singing career performing at the Satire Lounge and the Green Spider, as well as various mountain bistros such as the Gilded Garter in Central City and the Limelite in Aspen. The Exodus was Denver’s focal point for local Beats, artists, poets and a sprinkling of button-down college kids; Collins and folksinger Walt Conley were asked to be opening acts, and they were featured on the Folk Festival at the Exodus LP.

judy-row-three

At last count, Collins had recorded three dozen albums, produced a documentary with director Jill Godmilow about Dr. Brico’s life titled Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman (which earned an Academy Award nomination), written several autobiographical books and a novel, and received numerous humanitarian awards for her work with UNICEF and alcohol-abuse and suicide-prevention programs. She continues to record and perform music worldwide.

Collins had gained her social conscience and the special gift of turning folk songs into art songs.

Her crisp, clear soprano voice electrified audiences, carrying her to New York’s Greenwich Village and on to international fame. Her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, was released in 1961 several months prior to Bob Dylan’s debut record. Collins stayed mainly with readings of traditional material on her early recordings, but she transitioned to singing the music of her contemporaries, bringing a wider audience to Joni Mitchell (“Both Sides Now” was Collins’s first commercial hit, in 1967), Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman. She also became the foremost American interpreter of the French composer Jacques Brel and began to write her own songs. At the close of the 1960s, Collins scored another hit single with Ian Tyson’s “Someday Soon,” singing about a cowboy from Colorado, and Stephen Stills wrote the Crosby, Stills & Nash classic “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about her. Collins enjoyed more commercial success with the 1975 Grammy Award winner “Send in the Clowns,” from the Broadway play A Little Night Music, and an a cappella cover of “Amazing Grace.”

judy-placeholder

Simply linking the prolific
Collins to the folk music
tradition would be too limited
a platform for her talent.

Judy Collins Discography

1972 – Colors Of The Day

Colors Of The Day

2001 – The Very Best of Judy Collins

The Very Best

1964 – The Judy Collins Concert

The Judy Collins Concert

1971 – Living

Living

1996 – Live At Newport

Live At Newport

1997_1 – Christmas At the Biltmore Estate

Christmas At The Biltmore

2000 – Live At Wolf Trap

Live At Wolf Trap

2003 – Wildflower Festival

Wildflower Festival

2012 – Live At The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Live At The Mertopolitan

2014 – Live In Ireland

Live In Ireland

1961 – A Maid of Constant Sorrow

A Maid of Constant Sorrow

1962 – Golden Apples of the Sun

Golden Apples of the Sun

1963 – Judy Collins #3

Judy Collins #3.

1965 – Judy Collins_ Fifth Album

Judy Collins Fifth Album

1966 – In My Life

In My Life

1967 – Wildflowers

Wildflower

1968 – Who Knows Where the Time Goes

Who Knows Where The Time Goes

1969 – Recollections

Recollections

1970 – Whales and Nightingales

Whales and Nightingales

1971_1 – Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now

1973 – True Stories and Other Dreams

True Storie and Other Dreams

1975 – Judith

Judith

1976 – Bread _ Roses

Bread Roses

1977 – So Early In The Spring

So Early In The Spring

1979 – Hard Times For Lovers

Hard Times For Lovers

1980 – Running For My Life

Running For My Life

1982 – Time Of Our Lives

Time Of Our Lives

1984 – Home Again

Home Again

1985 – Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

1987 – Trust Your Heart

Trust Your Heart

1989 – Sanity And Grace

Sanity and Grace

1990 – Fires Of Eden

Fires Of Eden

1990_1 – Baby_s Morningtime

Morningtime

1990_2 – Baby_s Bedtime

Bedtime

1992 – Wind Beneath My Wings

Wind Beneath My Wings

1993 – Judy Sings Dylan…Just Like A Woman

Just Like A Woman

1994 – Come Rejoice!

Come Rejoice

1995 – Voices

Voices

1995_1 – Shameless

Shameless

1997 – Forever An Anthology

Forever An Anthology

1998 – Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now

1999 – Classic Broadway

Classic Broadway

2000_1 – Classic Folk

Classic Folk

2000_2 – All On A Wintry Night

All On A Wintery Night

2004 – Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen_ Democracy

Signs Leonard Cohen

2005 – Portrait Of An American Girl

Portrait Of An Amercian Girl

2010 – Paradise

Paradise

2011 – Bohemian

Bohemian

2015 – Strangers Again

Strangers Again

2017 – A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim

A Love Letter To Stephen

2017_1 – Everybody Knows

Everybody Knows

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