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Nation Conversations: Judy Collins on a Life in Music and Politics | The Nation

Nation Conversations: Judy Collins on a Life in Music and Politics

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Judy Collins and John Nichols aboard the Nation Cruise

On this year's Nation Cruise, folk singer and life-long activist Judy Collins treated The Nation's readers, editors and writers to a humorous and engaging conversation with political correspondent John Nichols. Nichols introduces Collins as a “definitional” artist who “transformed what we thought of as folk music,” but also notes that Collins is as adept at speaking on such diverse topics as suicide and sexuality as she is at singing. 

During a lighthearted and intimate conversation, Collins reflects on how music and politics have been intertwined throughout her career. For example, she shares an anecdote about how Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas in 1991, decided to name his daughter after her version of Joni Mitchell’s song “Chelsea Morning.”

Collins also discusses her involvement in the anti-landmine movement, and about how she struggled to write a song about Che Guevara after his assassination.

Collins autobiography, tentatively titled Judy Blue Eyes: Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll and the Music that Changed a Generation, will offer her fans further proof that she is one of the nation's best commentators on how music influences politics and vice versa.

—Joanna Chiu

For information on the 2011 Nation Cruise, click here.
To subscribe to an RSS feed of the whole series, click here.

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