WXXI AM News

Jeff Spevak talks with Judy Collins about social activism and music

Mar 7, 2019

Credit www.goldenlink.org

Judy Collins has worn her activism on her songwriter’s sleeve since the 1960s, when she moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village, plunging into a scene of folk-music driven activism. She is a voice of peace and civil rights, but also travail, publicly sharing her own experiences with alcoholism, drug abuse, bulimia and the suicide of her son.

Collins, who plays Saturday, March 9, at Hochstein Performance Hall, is an unerring judge of other songwriters’ material: She has had hits with Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire.” She has inspired songs: Stephen Stills wrote “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about Collins.

And she writes her own material as well. Most recently, the 79-year-old Collins was inspired to challenge the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as they flee violence in their home countries and attempt to immigrate to the United States. Collins addresses this in her new song, “Dreamers.”

Ticket information about Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. show is  available at goldenlink.org.

Jeff Spevak, a cultural arts contributor to WXXI, is a Rochester-based writer. His web site is jeffspevak.com.