Video: Judy Collins Performs Suzanne At Grammys Premiere In Honor Of Leonard Cohen

Judy Collins, whose early recordings of Leonard Cohen’s music first introduced the Canadian singer-songwriter to a wide audience, paid tribute to her fellow worker in song at the 59th GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2017 with a gorgeous cover of Suzanne that earned a standing ovation.

Video: Judy Collins Talks About Meeting Leonard Cohen & His Walking Off The Stage At His First Performance

judtcJudy Collins to Leonard Cohen after hearing him play Suzanne:

You can play the guitar very well … I’ve heard worse. You can sing very nicely; I’ve heard much worse … And that [Suzanne] is a song – and I’m recording it tomorrow.

Originally broadcast on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (CBC TV)

Note: Originally posted December 12, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

When Did Leonard Cohen Perform At The 1967 Rheingold Festival?


1967 Rheingold Festival Print Ad Promotes July 21 Judy Collins-Leonard Cohen Show

It’s well known that one of Leonard Cohen’s earliest public appearances as a singer-songwriter took place when Judy Collins brought him onstage with her to perform Suzanne at the 1967 Rheingold Music Festival in Central Park, New York. The date of that show, however, has been unclear. Now, however, the discovery of this contemporaneous print ad for the 1967 Rheingold Festivity (the only complete schedule for the two-month 1967 Rheingold Festivity that I’ve found)  from the WBAI Folio, July, 1967, Vol. 8, WBAI radio 99.5 FM (New York, NY) provides not only an addition to the Signs Of Leonard Cohen collection but also establishes the presumptive date of the Leonard Cohen-Judy Collins performance: July 21, 1967.


Judy Collins Describes Leonard Cohen’s 1st Concert Appearance 1967


“Leonard Was Terrified”

In Sweet Judy Blue Eyes – My Life In Music by Judy Collins (Crown Archetype, October 18, 2011), Judy Collins’ describes Leonard Cohen’s first official concert performance, at her invitation, as a professional singer – the April 30, 1967 SANE Against Vietnam War Concert At New York City Town Hall.


Credit Due Department: Photo by Jim.henderson – Own work, CC0, via Wikimedia

Note: Originally posted Nov 13, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Classic 1976 Performance – Leonard Cohen & Judy Collins Sing Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye


Judy Collins : And we’d like to sing together for you…
Leonard Cohen : This is a song that we first sing together in a Hotel room in Newport..
Judy Collins: That’s right! That’s right, the Festival it was…
Leonard Cohen: We sang it all night
Judy Collins: I know ….

Leonard Cohen & Judy Collins – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
Chicago Soundstage TV Broadcast: Jan 1976
Video by Beta Hi-Fi Archive

Collins Covers Cohen, Confounds Carnegie Culture Crowd – Pittsburgh 1966


Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh

Note: Originally posted Mar 13, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Judy Collins Performs Leonard Cohen’s Verses In Pittsburgh To Light Applause

Leonard Cohen has always acknowledged his debt to Judy Collins for her help in starting his songwriting career by covering and popularizing his songs.

It turns out, however, there was at least one Collins performance of Cohen’s poetic lyrics that did not win any prizes from the audience.

In 1966, the same year Mary Martin introduced Collins and Cohen, the International Poetry Forum booked Judy Collins for a December 14th presentation at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.

Judy Collins Plays The 1966 Poetry Forum

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