32 Facts About Judy Collins


Judith Marjorie Collins was born on May 1,1939 and is an American singer-songwriter and musician with a career spanning seven decades.


Judy Collins experienced the biggest success of her career with her recording of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" from her tenth studio album Judith.


Judy Collins was born the eldest of five siblings in Seattle, Washington, where she spent the first ten years of her life.


Judy Collins's father took a job in Denver, Colorado, in 1949, and the family moved there.


Judy Collins contracted polio at the age of eleven and spent two months in isolation in a hospital.


Judy Collins studied classical piano with Antonia Brico, making her public debut at age 13 performing Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos.


Judy Collins's music became popular at the University of Connecticut, where her husband taught.

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Judy Collins performed at parties and for the campus radio station along with David Grisman and Tom Azarian.


Judy Collins eventually made her way to Greenwich Village, New York City, where she played in clubs like Gerde's Folk City until she signed with Elektra Records, a label she was associated with for 35 years.


Judy Collins was instrumental in bringing little-known musicians to a wider public.


Judy Collins recorded songs by singer-songwriters such as Eric Andersen, Fred Neil, Ian Tyson, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, Robin Williamson, and Richard Farina long before they gained national acclaim.


Two of Judy Collins' songs were featured in the 1968 film The Subject Was Roses.


In 1971, Collins issued her second live album, Living, and the compilation album Colors of the Day: The Best of Judy Collins followed a year later.


Judy Collins traveled to England in 1985 and struck a one-off deal with Telstar Records to record the studio album Amazing Grace, in which she re-recorded several of her better-known songs with an inspirational bent.


In 1989, Judy Collins released two albums: a live disc titled Sanity and Grace, and a collaboration with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, Innervoices.


In 1990, Judy Collins released her eighteenth studio album Fires of Eden on Columbia Records.


At the time of its release, Judy Collins performed it live on several occasions, including on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Joan Rivers Show.


Judy Collins performed at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration in 1993, singing "Amazing Grace" and "Chelsea Morning".


Judy Collins combined her interests in music and literature for her next project.


In 1998, Judy Collins published her third book, Singing Lessons: A Memoir of Love, Loss, Hope and Healing, which focused on her struggles with alcoholism, depression, and the emotional trauma of her son's death.


Judy Collins maintained a busy release schedule via Wildflower, issuing numerous live albums and reissues as well as new material such as 2005's Portrait of an American Girl, 2010's Paradise, and 2011's Bohemian, all of which focused on her continued strength as an interpretive vocalist.


Various artists, including Shawn Colvin, Rufus Wainwright, and Chrissie Hynde, covered Judy Collins's compositions for the tribute album Born to the Breed in 2008.


The tribute albums Tom Thumb's Blues: A Tribute to Judy Collins and Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins appeared in 2000 and 2008, respectively.


In 2010, Judy Collins sang "The Weight of the World" at the Newport Folk Festival, a song by Amy Speace.


Judy Collins paid homage to some of her favorite songwriters as well as her favorite vocalists with the 2015 album Strangers Again, which featured duets with Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Jeff Bridges, and Glen Hansard.

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In 2017, Judy Collins returned to the work of the songwriter who gave her "Send in the Clowns" with A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim, and the same year, she and her longtime friend, Stephen Stills, collaborated on an album, Everybody Knows.


Judy Collins joined the judging panel for the 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Annual Independent Music Awards.


Judy Collins sympathized with the Yippie movement and was friendly with its leaders, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.


Judy Collins's first marriage in 1958 to Peter Taylor produced her only child, Clark C Taylor, born the same year.


In 1962, shortly after her debut at Carnegie Hall, Judy Collins was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent six months recuperating in a sanatorium.


Judy Collins suffered from bulimia nervosa after she quit smoking in the 1970s.


Judy 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.