by Tracey Jackson
Judy Collins is young at heart, younger in spirit, looks twenty years younger than she actually is, but is a true living legend. She has been performing for sixty years. She made her first public debut at the age of 13 performing Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos.
Judy is one of those faces and voices that is embedded in so many people’s minds; the girl with the big blue eyes, the long blonde hair with the voice of an angel. If you close your eyes you can hear her singing From Both Sides Now or Send In The Clowns.
Judy fell in love with the music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, she abandoned her classical piano and took up the guitar. In 1961 when she was 22 she released her fist album A Maid of Constant Sorrow.
Collins has written more than 100 songs and nine books, including an autobiography, a novel and songbooks. She has recorded 45 albums and CDs, but she is probably best known for her rendition of Amazing Grace and Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now. Though my favorite remains her version of Stephen Sondheim’s Send In The Clowns.
She won a Grammy in 1968 for Both Sides Now.
Judy also runs her own music production company Wildflowers and continues to tour doing over a hundred shows around the world each year. This is even more amazing when you consider she is seventy-two years old.
Yes, Judy is seventy-two and remains an active part of the American musical landscape.
But despite all this success there has been a life filled with struggles and tragedy; all of which she is more than willing to discuss. It is her openness and candor that for me make her one of our truly special celebrities. Judy faces things head on. She will talk to you about her battles with depression, addiction and her son’s suicide. She reaches and out and helps anyone she can. She has a heart ten times the size of her voice.
I feel honored to call her a friend and I am thrilled to have been able to sit down with her a few weeks ago and talk about life, success and more importantly grief and loss, topics that cannot be escaped in life, and even more so the older we get.
Today’s 50@50 is thrilled to present Judy Collins.
Judy Collins latest book Sweet Judy Blue Eyes
BETWEEN A ROCK & A HOT PLACE
'Why Fifty Is The New Fifty' by Tracey Jackson
Now available in Paperback! From Harper Collins Books
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