35 Facts About Judy Collins


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

FactSnippet No. 594,993

Judy Collins's had her first charting single with "Hard Lovin' Loser" from her 1966 album In My Life, but it was the lead single from her 1967 album Wildflowers, "Both Sides, Now" – written by Joni Mitchell – that gave her international prominence.

FactSnippet No. 594,994

Judy Collins experienced the biggest success of her career with her recording of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" from her 1975 album Judith.

FactSnippet No. 594,995

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

FactSnippet No. 594,996

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

FactSnippet No. 594,997

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

FactSnippet No. 594,998

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

FactSnippet No. 594,999

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,000

At first, Judy Collins 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.

FactSnippet No. 595,001

Judy Collins's recorded her own versions of important songs from the period, such as Dylan's "Mr Tambourine Man" and Pete Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn".

FactSnippet No. 595,002

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

FactSnippet No. 595,003

Judy Collins's 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.

FactSnippet No. 595,004

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

FactSnippet No. 595,005

Judy Collins's was 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", a recording of Joan Baez's "A Song for David", and her own compositions, such as "Born to the Breed".

FactSnippet No. 595,006

Judy Collins guest starred on The Muppet Show in an episode broadcast in January 1978, singing "Leather-Winged Bat", "I Know An Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", "Do Re Mi", and "Send in the Clowns".

FactSnippet No. 595,007

Judy Collins's 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".

FactSnippet No. 595,008

Judy Collins's performed the music for the 1983 animated special The Magic of Herself the Elf, as well as the theme song of the Rankin-Bass TV movie The Wind in the Willows.

FactSnippet No. 595,009

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

FactSnippet No. 595,010

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

FactSnippet No. 595,011

In 1990, Judy Collins released the album Fires of Eden on Columbia Records.

FactSnippet No. 595,012

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,013

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

FactSnippet No. 595,014

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

FactSnippet No. 595,015

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,016

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,017

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,018

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,019

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

FactSnippet No. 595,020

Judy Collins's 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.

FactSnippet No. 595,021

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.

FactSnippet No. 595,022

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

FactSnippet No. 595,023

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

FactSnippet No. 595,024

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

FactSnippet No. 595,025

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

FactSnippet No. 595,026

Judy Collins's 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.

FactSnippet No. 595,027