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Judy Collins

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Judith Marjorie Collins, known professionally as Judy Collins, is one of America’s most treasured artists. A singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist, she is known for her beautiful voice and her ability to translate emotion into the song.

Personal Life

Judy was born in Seattle, Washington on May 1, 1939, to Chuck and Dorothy Collins. Judy’s father was a blind singer and radio DJ. She has five younger siblings.

In 1958, Collins married Peter Taylor, with whom she had a son, Clark. The marriage didn’t last, and the two divorced in 1965. Since 1978 Collins was in a relationship with Louis Nelson. In 1996, Collins married Louis Nelson.

Collins was discovered to have tuberculosis in 1962. She was admitted to a hospital for six months and recuperated at a sanatorium. Collins had problems with alcohol and drugs throughout her life. In 1967, she entered a detoxification center to kick her heroin addiction. She later wrote about her experiences in the book “Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Strength” (2003).

Collins has battled bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder, since the early 1970s. In a 1983 interview with Redbook magazine, she said: “It’s a terrible thing, very self-destructive. I used to throw up all the time after meals. It’s something you live with for the rest of your life.”

In 1992, Collins’ only child, son Clark Thomas Taylor, died by suicide at the age of 33. He had been struggling with depression and addiction.

Career

Judy Collins began her musical career in the early 1960s as a folksinger in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, in 1961.¬† The album was a critical and commercial success, and it established Collins as a rising star in the folk music scene. She followed up with several more successful albums, including In My Life (1966), Wildflowers (1967), and Who Knows Where the Time Goes (1968).

Collins’ career reached new heights in the 1970s with the release of several hit singles, including “Send in the Clowns” and ” Nobody.”¬†These songs helped Collins to crossover into the pop music world, and she became a household name. She continued to release successful albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including Judith (1975), Hard Times for Lovers (1979) and Running for My Life (1980).

In the 1990s and 2000s, Collins continued to perform and record music, although at a slower pace than in her earlier years. She released several more albums, including Strangers Again (2015) and Everybody Knows (2017).

Collins’ career has spanned more than five decades, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She continues to tour and perform regularly, and her latest album, Winter Stories, was released in 2019. Judy Collins is a true legend of the folk music world, and her contributions to the genre are undeniable.

Collins is also an accomplished author, having written several books including an autobiography, Singing Lessons (1998), and a memoir, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music (2010). She has been awarded Grammy Awards, induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at their 2005 Honors & Awards ceremony.

Discography

Studio albums

  • 1961-A Maid of Constant Sorrow
  • 1962-Golden Apples of the Sun
  • 1963-Judy Collins 3
  • 1965-Fifth Album
  • 1966-In My Life (Gold)
  • 1967-Wildflowers (Gold)
  • 1968-Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Gold)
  • 1970-Whales & Nightingales (Gold)
  • 1973-True Stories and Other Dreams
  • 1975-Judith (Platinum)
  • 1976-Bread and Roses
  • 1979-Hard Times for Lovers
  • 1980-Running for My Life
  • 1982-Times of Our Lives
  • 1984-Home Again
  • 1985-Amazing Grace
  • 1987-Trust Your Heart
  • 1990-Fires of Eden
  • 1990-Baby’s Bedtime
  • 1990-Baby’s Morningtime
  • 1993-Judy Sings Dylan… Just Like a Woman
  • 1995-Shameless
  • 1995-Voices
  • 1998-Both Sides Now
  • 1999-Classic Broadway
  • 2004-Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy
  • 2005-Portrait of an American Girl
  • 2007-Judy Collins Sings Lennon and McCartney
  • 2010-Paradise
  • 2011-Bohemian
  • 2015-Strangers Again
  • 2016-Silver Skies Blue
  • 2017-A Love Letter To Sondheim
  • 2017-Everybody Knows
  • 2019-Winter Stories
  • 2022-Spellbound