Talking About Judy Collins Is Talking About My Generation
Over the years, I’ve alternated many times, for reasons unclear to me, between stages in which I am enchanted by the music of Judy Collins and those in which I sincerely and deeply admire her musical and social accomplishments but never wake up thinking, “I must listen to Judy Collins sing Turn, Turn, Turn or Both Sides Now as soon as possible. I am in that latter part of the cycle just now.
Even during these periods when my intense appreciation of her songs is dormant, I am always moved by her rendition of Amazing Grace, which appears to be the legacy of my allegiance to the Baby Boomer cohort,1 and by her early duets with Leonard Cohen.2
Enjoying this 1976 video of Judy Collins and Leonard Cohen, taped for Judy Collin’s show on PBS TV’s “Soundstage,” singing Suzanne, the song that proved a keystone for both performers, is, I would suggest, a wonderful way to celebrate the birthday of a wonderful woman.
Judy Collins & Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
- Others in my age group may recall that Judy Collins performed Amazing Grace at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993. Bonus trivia: At that inauguration, Collins also sang Chelsea Morning, the song that was the source for the Chelsea Clinton’s name [↩]
- Judy Collins was instrumental in Cohen’s shift from poet to singer, calling attention to his music and pushing him (almost literally) to perform [↩]