“I had to bang [the board’s] heads together to get them to understand that they had to have this afternoon concert with Joni & Leonard” Judy Collins On Getting Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen In The 1967 Newport Folk Festival


I was on the board of the Newport Festival with all the boys — George Wein, Harold Leventhal, Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow. Ronnie Gilbert [of the Weavers] and I were the only women, and I started to campaign with the board to get a singer-songwriter afternoon because I wanted Joni Mitchell on that show. And I wanted Leonard Cohen on that show. It was like coming up against a brick wall. They didn’t want anything to do with this. They were in this odd retroactive phase. It was as if they forgot that Pete Seeger wrote all these songs. They wanted everything old. If it wasn’t at least two centuries old, they didn’t want it. And I had to bang their heads together to get them to understand that they had to have this afternoon concert with Joni and Leonard, and Tom Paxton was on it, also, and Janis Ian. It was a a big, big, big deal. I wanted to do this for Joni, Leonard, and Janis.quotedown2

Judy Collins

 

From Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. Sarah Crichton Books (October 17, 2017).