Judy Collins emerged in 1961 at age 22 as one of the pioneer voices of the American folk music movement. With her contemporaries (Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Peter Paul & Mary, Odetta, and of course, Bob Dylan) Collins helped bring folk and socially-charged music to the forefront of the American public. Her third album, Judy Collins 3, featured the first pop version of "Turn Turn Turn," and her band at that time included Jim McGuinn, who, two years later, would emerge as Roger McGuinn, lead singer and guitarist of the Byrds.
Even when traditional folk music began to wane for the hipper, more commercially viable folk-rock, Collins endured. Her sweet and feminine voice made a breakthrough in 1967 with the release of Wildflowers, and the hit single, "Both Sides Now," a huge radio hit written for Collins by Joni Mitchell. During the heyday of the late 1960s, Collins began circulating in rock music circles. She briefly dated Stephen Stills, who wrote the classic CSN hit, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" for her.
Collins never had the cutting edge political bent of many of her contemporaries, which is probably one reason she has been able to transition recently towards more Broadway-driven, Pops-style collaborative acts. Still, there is no denying her gorgeous singing voice.
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