Judy Collins - vocals, guitar, piano; Ken Bichelle - piano, keyboards; Lou Bolthay - guitar; Corky Hale - harp, keyboards; Warren Oates - drums; Don Payne - bass; Leslie Dorsey - vocals, clarinet; Tommy Bogdan - vocals; Dave Smith - vocals
This concert was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1979, the second of two shows recorded at LA's Roxy on Sunset Blvd. At this time, Collins was trying to reestablish her folk icon image, after having a huge hit with Stephen Sondheim's "Send In The Clowns" in 1976. "Send In The Clowns," and other Broadway and tin pan alley ballads, had gradually stripped Collins of her contemporary music status. This tour, and its accompanying LP, Hard Times For Lovers, helped turn her reputation back around, in large part because of her undeniable singing voice and onstage charisma.
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. And, of course, of their earliest chart topping hits was their own version of "Turn Turn Turn."
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.