Name dropping here but this week I had coffee with the icon that is Judy Collins. Just say ‘Both Sides Now’ and ‘Bring in the Clowns’ and you’ve got her. What a lady! We had such a good chat about life in general, her career, of course, making her first public appearance performing Mozart’s Concerto for Two pianos at the age of 13, learning guitar, singing since her teens and becoming a world wide star; friend of Bob Dylan, Jodie Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, James Earl Jones, Don McLean, Tom Paxton, the cast list goes on and on. She sang for President Kennedy just before he died and for President Clinton more recently and now she’s singing in Belfast on 3rd October at the MAC Theatre.
Not only will she sing her famous songs but also one special song she wrote recently about her Irish connections and her grandfather who was born in Ireland and left for the States when still a young man. ‘New Moon Over The Hudson’ charts her Irish American history and the influence of Frank Collins.
“We think our roots are Scots Irish and that he was born somewhere around Belfast but I’ll know more soon as I’m exploring my roots – we’re into the DNA now.” Her father, Chuck was a singer with his own radio show and as a child she sang with him and her audiences have numbered millions since.
Not only will she sing with her band but she will also talk to the audience about her fascinating life. She told me about trying to take that precious life when she was 14, the alcoholism that ran through her family and caught up with her in her teens, of the death of her only child, her son Clerk, who took his life in 1992 .
Today Judy Collins is fit and well. She has been somber for 35 years, travels the world with her Jane Fonda tape and her weights and works out as she watches television. She’s a savvy political animal, champion of causes she believes in and a beautiful singer looking forward to meeting her Belfast audience.
A chance not to be missed.
More about her show www.themaclive.com