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Judy Henske

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Judy Henske
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In 1963, Jac Holzman had opened an office in LA as an adjunct to Elektra’s New York operation, but he found very little there that fired his imagination, except for Judy Henske. On a label that had more than its share of original talents, Judy Henske still stood out. She had honed her act opening for Lenny Bruce at her manager Herb Cohen’s club, Cosmo Alley. Recorded before an audience, Henske’s Elektra debut, Judy Henske, was an odd mix of gutsy blues and jazz tinged cabaret that failed to find a niche. Her second album for Elektra, High Flying Bird, was stripped down to a simpler ensemble sound that anticipated folk rock at times, notably on it’s title track, later covered by Richie Havens and Jefferson Airplane. “Wade In The Water” is a tour de force, completely suited to her gutsy, bluesy voice, but which belied her kooky image. Described by Herb Cohen as a ‘real force of nature’, Judy Henske was always slightly out of step with the times. Henske was an undoubted influence on both Cass Elliot and Bette Midler, but she was never the star she should have been.
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