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Judy Collins Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Shameless (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Trust Your Heart (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Amazing Grace (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Singing Lessons (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sanity and Grace (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seven T's (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sweet Judy Blue Eyes (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cravings (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Judy Collins
Judy Collins was born in Seattle, Washington on May 1, 1939 and is the oldest of five siblings. Her dad is a blind pianist and singer and radio show host. When she was ten years old, he took a job in Denver, Colorado in the year 1949 and the family moved there.

She studied classical piano with Antonia Brico, making her public debut at the age of thirteen, performing Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos. Brico took a dim view of, both at that time and later, of Collins’ developing interest in folk music, which led to her tough choice of discontinuing her piano lessons.

It was Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, along with the traditional songs of the folk revival from the early 1960s that kindled her interest in folk music and awoke a love of lyrics.

Three years after her debut as a piano prodigy, she was playing the guitar. Her earliest public appearances as a folk artist after she graduated from Denver’s East High School were at Michael’s Pub in Boulder, Colorado, and Exodus (a folk club) in Denver.

Judy’s music became popular at the University of Connecticut, where her husband taught. She performed at different parties and for the campus radio station along with Tom Azarian and David Grisman.

She made her way eventually to Greenwich Village, New York City, where she played clubs like Gerde’s Folk City until signing with Elektra Records, a label that she was associated with for 35 years. In the year 1961, she released her first album at the age of 22, called “A Maid of Constant Sorrow”.

At first, she sang songs written by others or traditional folk songs, in particular protest songwriters of the period, like Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and Bob Dylan. She recorded her version of some important songs from this period, like “Turn, Turn, Turn” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”.

She also was instrumental in bringing little-known musicians to a wider audience. She recorded songs by Leonard Cohen, somebody that she became a close friend with over the years. Judy also recorded songs by singer-songwriters before they gained national acclaim, like Eric Andersen, Joni Mitchell, and Randy Newman.

Judy’s first few albums were made up of straightforward guitar based folk, but with “In My Life” (1966), she started branching out and including works from diverse places like Kurt Weill, the Beatles, and Leonard Cohen. However, it wasn’t until her 1967 album, called “Wildflowers”, that she began recording her own original songs, starting with “Since You’ve Asked”. Collins had a major hit and won a Grammy award with her cover of Both Sides, Now, which hit number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Her next album “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” featured back-up guitar by Stephen Stills, with whom she was romantically involved with at the time and whom would later write Judy Blue Eyes about.

By the seventies, she had a solid reputation as an art song folksinger and started standing out for her own original pieces. She was known for her broad range of material: her songs from this period were the traditional Christian hymn “Amazing Grace” and “Send in the Clowns” (the Stephen Sondheim Broadway ballad) were both top twenty hits.

Like many of the folk singers of her generation, she was drawn to social activism. Her political idealism led her to pen a ballad called “Che” to honor Che Guevara, a sixties Marxist icon. She also signed her name, in the early seventies to the Ms. Campaign: “We Have Had Abortions” and penned the song “Mama Mama” about a mom of five and her ambivalence over her choice to abort an unintended pregnancy.

Judy’s been married twice. Her first marriage to Peter Taylor produced her one and only child, named Clark C. Taylor, born in 1958, the same year she married Peter. They divorced in the year 1965. She married Louis Nelson, a designer, in April of 1996, whom she had been seeing since the year 1978.

Judy was nominated for an Academy Award, with Jill Godmilow, for the documentary called “Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman” (1975) about Antonia Brico, her classical piano instructor and composer.

She has written books, along with music, having published a novel (called “Shameless”, released in 1995) and some non-fiction work. Judy’s first book, called “Trust Your Heart”, which was released in the year 1987. In her second memoir, she recounts the suicide of her son in the year 1992.

“Cravings” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2017. This is a no-holds-barred account of Judy Collins’ harrowing battle with compulsive overeating and of the journey that led her to her solution.

Judy Collins has had a fraught and tumultuous relationship with food dating back to her childhood. Her issues with overeating nearly claimed both her life and her career. For decades she believed she just lacked self-discipline. She attempted just about every single diet plan out there, often she turned to booze to dull the pain of another failed effort to control her apparently insatiable cravings.

Today, she knows she suffers an addiction to flour and wheat, grains and sugar. She sticks to a strict diet of unprocessed foods that is consumed in carefully measured out portions. This solution has allowed Judy to keep up a healthy weight for years, to attain peace of mind, and enjoy good health’s glow.

The book alternates between chapters about her life and those about the many diet gurus she’s encountered along the way: Jean Nidetch of Weight Watchers, Atkins, Andrew Weil, just to name a few. This is the culmination of Judy’s true desire to share what she has learned, so nobody else needs to navigate her heart-rending path to recover.

Judy tells in this book, with raw details and scathing honesty all about her long battles with bulimia and alcoholism, and how she hit rock bottom with her addictions. Her knowledgeable and concise history of her decades worth of diet plans and medical theories elevates this work with first-hand evaluations of each individual plan’s weaknesses and strengths. It is really two books in one, a well-researched self-help guide and a memoir about Judy’s food, drug, and alcohol addictions.

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