Justin Richmond, Bruce Huddle, Denver discussed on Broken Record

Broken Record


Lived the rugged life that peers like Dylan could only sing about. This is broken record. Liner notes for the digital age. I'm Justin Richmond. Here's Bruce huddle with Judy Collins. Since you've turned 80 you've got your first number one and your touring and you've got this great new album, everyone should hear, particularly the diversion of send in the clowns with just a piano. Is so beautiful. Good. Good. So beautiful and such a beautiful ending. To that album. This new album coming out in which I've written all the songs. I do a lot of writing anyway, but I wrote a lot of songs during the pandemic polished up a bunch that had been hanging around waiting to be looked at and taken seriously. And it was challenging, but I have some of those songs in concert now. And we'll see. I'm very happy with it. That's exciting. When you heard songs, how did you know this is a song for me? I can make this work. Well, that's DNA that's history that's what you were like as a child. That's what you heard. That's how you retrained. That's how you learned how to learn all the songs of the great American songbook, which my father made our living with, singing, but your father was a musician we should say. Yes, he was a wonderful singer, and then I was born in 39, and then he went on to have a radio career, which lasted 30 years. And we went from Seattle to LA to Denver. I was always able to see him perform and hear him perform, and watch, and learn how to do this thing, to have a career. And the secret being you show up on time in most cases, and you do your work, no matter how much you drank, you always was happy in the morning and clear and I don't know how he did it, but I learned to do something in my career and not have it be blown apart by my tendency to drink too much, which I really think I learned that from him. You're drinking, which was prodigious. Prodigious, yep. Did it ever interfered with their mornings you couldn't perform or evenings you couldn't perform? Not until the last year, until 77. And then I was canceling right and left. I didn't drink on stage until that year either. And I always would keep the day clear and then I would drink after the show. I knew by the time I was 19 that I have a real problem. But I never tried to quit. I mean, who would, you know? As long as things were going well, you certainly didn't want to quit. He also had a life in Colorado that was quite adventurous. You got married young. You had a child young, but you cooked at a national park. You were always seem to be climbing mountains and doing crazy things. You had the life that Bob Dylan and a lot of the other people in the village pretended to have. They all pretended to be these rough characters who've been riding the rails and cooking at lumber camps. And you're like, no, no, no. I did that. You didn't do any of that. Yeah, I did that. I had started singing for money in March of 1950 9. I sang at a little club called Michael's pub in boulder, and then I sang in the mountains in central city, and then I was hired to sing in Denver, and I started traveling back and forth from boulder, which is where we lived, and my husband was in school. To Boulder boulder Denver turnpike dangerous road in those days, we got two offers. I got an offer of 6 weeks at the gate of horn to open for, at that point it was will holt. And my husband and I got an offer to, because a lot of our friends were park rangers. We knew the long peak ranger whom we'd met in the mountains and 58, and we'd run the lodge, and I cooked on wood stoves, and we'd served the lunches to the hikers, and we got to know a whole community of people, I was traveling back and forth, of course, to sing. And we were offered a firewatch. Meantime, I had broken my leg and had a surgery and was in a cast from my toes to my hip. This was in the spring of 60. They offered us the job, and we went up to genesee park, it's called, so we went up there for lunch one day and our little boy was about a year and a half old, I think. And we had lunch, and we talked about it. What are we going to do? Are we going to move to Chicago? So you can do the get of horn, or are we going to take the risk of your being in this cast and take a fire watch? At twin sisters. Well, I was the breadwinner, so to speak. And I was not going to be very helpful if I could not move if there was a fire. And I couldn't get on a horse. And I couldn't walk in this cast. That's when we decided to go to Chicago. And that was really that moment in my life where I knew that I was not going to live in Colorado and be part of the mountain scene. For my adult life, but that I was going to go on this and do this career. And do this thing that I do. When did you tell your husband that the cast was fake? After I knocked him down the hill. Yeah. What was it like for you when you started writing? The world changed and the sort of curators like Joan by is that went out of fashion and suddenly he was singer songwriters. Did you feel pressure that you had to write to maintain your career? No, no, no, no. I didn't. I mean, my career was finding other people's songs and doing them the way I wanted to. And my writing is completely part of my psyche. In other words, keeping me on the planet is why I write. And ever since I wrote since you've asked, I've never stopped writing songs. And what was since you've asked about? Well, the title since you've asked, you know, Al Cooper, said to me, why are you not writing songs? And then the answer is, since you've asked, I'll show you. So what was it like when you performed all these incredible songs? You had been on stage, and then suddenly you're sitting down saying, well, can I do this? Did you write it a piano? Yeah, I write everything as a piano. And that's where I grew up at the piano. So it was a natural thing. It was always there. The whole question of noodling and finding a melody and a lyric did not occur to me until that moment, and I wrote a bunch of songs that were pretty interesting at that beginning, since you've asked and my father, I wrote that. I wrote albatross in that first, I wrote a song called che about Che Guevara. I wrote quite a number of songs, including eventually, while I took a few months off, a couple of years later, and didn't tour so I could just write songs, and that was where I wrote secret gardens and a couple of others. So, but I always have something. I come up with something that I need to put on a record. So usually one of my songs will show up in a collection of other things, except of course, if I'm doing it so on time album, yes, or an album of Lennon McCartney, which I've done, an album of.

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