Judy Collins released her debut album, A Maid Of Constant Sorrow, in 1961. Vocally she seemed indebted to Joan Baez, but no one could have predicted the adventurous musical path she would blaze for herself.
Blessed with a crystalline voice and an immaculate instinct for great songs, Judy moved from traditional folk to become a champion of contemporary songwriters including Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Erik Anderson and Gordon Lightfoot. This process began with the pivotal Judy Collins 3. The album cover was a stunner, a full-sized head shot with those piercing, deeply blue eyes. 1966's In My Life embraced Brecht/Weill, the Marat Sade, Jacques Brel, and the first ever recordings of Leonard Cohen songs, “Suzanne” and “Dress Rehearsal Rag.”
Wildflowers, Who Knows Where The Time Goes and Whales And Nightingales are all astonishingly well crafted and brilliantly realized albums. Whales contains her biggest hit single, “Amazing Grace,” performed a cappella with a chorus of friends. It became a million selling single in the U.K. and a hit in America.
Judy continued to enjoy success after Jac Holzman departed Elektra. “Send In The Clowns” was another intelligent re-imagining of a singular song, recorded for the newly combined Elektra/Asylum label now guided by David Geffen.