70s Music Artist Watch: Judy Collins

This lady is pure music, she has been involved in so many types of music in her career, that its hard to put a label on her, so I wont. Suffice to say she seems at home in pop,classical music,folk and seems to have been influenced by everyone who is everyone during the 1960s, including Pete Seeger, Dylan,Joni Mitchell and on and on it goes.

After some albums in the 1960s, she moved effortlessly into the hits of 70s and appeared on the Muppet show too, singing "I know An Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", along too with appearances on the children's TV programme "Sesame Street".

The Muppet Show appearance.

A former big smoker and a sufferer of Bulimea, and two marriages, Judy was and is a lady that really gets into life, especially during the 60s when she was an activist in many organisations.

Her album in 1971 was "Living" which had a song by Stacy Keach an actor who appeared in many films including "Jesus of Nazareth". Judy was having an affair with him at the time of making the album.

Another album in 1972 that included "Both Sides Now" and "Amazing Grace" which also appeared as her first hit single in the 1970 , and also from the album 1970 " Whales and Nightingales" with contributions from writers like Joan Baez and Pete Seeger and the one and only Bob Dylan.

Other hits in 1971 "Open the Door" and "Cook with Honey" in 1973, written by Valerie Carter and came from here album "True Stories and Other Dreams", another hit of the 70s.

But the biggest hit around the world in 1975 and in some regions 1977 was the "Send in the Clowns" from the album "Judith"The song from the 1973 musical "A Little Night Music" and was written by the great Stephen Sondheim and was also recorded by the man himself Frank Sinatra. Her version of the song was Song of the Year at the Grammy awards.

Incidentally the record of the year at that Grammy awards was "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain and Tenille. See video.

"Send in the Clowns", according to Sondheim, was really just about fools, and not directly related to Clowns, however when it appeared on the BBC Top of The Pops, the producers must have misread the title, as it was introduced with smoke, pretending to be "Clouds", so some people believed it was called "Send in the Clouds".

In fact one drunken night in the late 70s I remember phoning up a radio station with my friend Debbie, to ask the DJ what the title was. We did not get to air, but he did confirm on air it was "Clowns".


Part of the lyrics
Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.
Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.
Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

1977 Judy released her album "So Early in the Spring" which included many of songs penned by herself, with help again from some famous friends like Tom Paxton and Leonard Cohen.

Judy Collins talks to Larry King on CNN


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About Me

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I am one of those baby boomer's, who had the pleasure, and the FUN to grow up in the 1970s. The 70s music was so diverse, and the charts were for everyone from 8 to 80. That was when POP was fun, and the top forty really meant something as it was a shared experience. I have tried in this site to bring back the memories of the 70s, not just the pure pop, but also the heavy guys like Floyd and Black Sabbath. Everything had a place in the music of the 70s, and everything has a memory for one of us 1970s boomers.