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Judy Collins has thrilled audiences with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and
original compositions for nearly five decades. At age 13, she made her public debut
performing Mozart’s Concertos for Two Pianos. But it was the music of folk artists such as
Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and the folk revival of the early 60s that sparked Judy’s love
Judy launched her recording career in 1961 with her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow.
She interpreted the songs of fellow artists - particularly the social poets of the time such as,
Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton. Maid, recorded when Judy was 22, began a thirty-five
year association with Elektra Records. During this period, Judy was instrumental in bringing
other singer-songwriters to a wider audience including poet/musician Leonard Cohen – and
musicians Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman.
In the later 60s, Judy began experimenting with different musical sounds and sources.
Collins interpreted the works of artists as diverse as The Beatles, Jacques Brell and Kurt
Weil with the release of “In My Life” (1966.) On her album Wildflowers (1967), Judy began to
focus on original compositions, such as Since You’ve Asked. The album also produced her
first Grammy Award for her interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.
By the 1970s, Judy won acclaim both as an interpretative folk singer and for her own works.
She explored a broad range of material: her songs from this period include the traditional
hymn Amazing Grace and the Stephen Sondheim Broadway ballad Send in the Clowns– (both
of which were top 20 hits as singles), as well as her own music compositions including Born
to the Breed.
Judy has continued an impressive musical career with an extensive catalog from every
decade from the 60s up to the present. She is still recording and delighting music audiences
all over the world. Her new album, Born To The Breed – A Tribute to Judy Collins,
Volume I is set for release on October28, 2008. For a full discography visit Judy’s website
In 1992, her personal life took a tragic turn when her son and only child, Clark Taylor (b.
January 8, 1959) took his own life at age 33. Judy has since become a strong advocate of
suicide prevention and actively speaks about her own battle with depression and substance
abuse. In her 2003 memoir, 'Sanity & Grace', Judy details with unflinching honesty her
recovery from her son's suicide and attempts to provide comfort and guidance to other
families dealing with the loss of a loved one from suicide. Judy Collins has become a soughtafter
keynote speaker on suicide prevention.
In a recent New York Times interview *, Judy outlines her social commitment and
philosophy. She has embraced the description folk singer because “…it indicates social
commitment… My social history has always been linked with my musical history.” Like
many folk singers of her generation, Judy is drawn to social activism. She is a representative
for UNICEF and campaigns on behalf of the abolition of landmines.
Judy, now 69, is still writing, performing, and nurturing fresh talent. She plays 60 to 80
dates a year around the country. In 1999, she founded Wildflower Records with co-founder
Katherine DePaul – a grass roots artist driven label. Their most recent signings include Wes
Charlton and legendary punk folk artists, The Saints. The aim of the label is to develop longterm
relationships with artists and their representatives in a way Judy’s own career was
nurtured by major labels. For more information about Wildflower Records, you can visit the
label’s website at www.wildflowerrecords.com
Still recording, writing and touring Judy is a relentlessly creative spirit – a modern day
Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head,
musical mentor, social activist, and an inspirational keynote speaker.