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Fifty years ago, singer-songwriter Stephen Stills met singer-songwriter Judy Collins, known for her piercing ocean-blue eyes. Their tumultuous love affair would later be immortalized by Stills with his composition “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” performed by Crosby, Stills & Nash on their landmark self-titled debut album. Both Stills and Collins would go on to shape modern music with visionary approaches, but their short fiery union remains a transformative era for the two artists.
This summer, the two icons of folk music will celebrate the golden anniversary of their formative time together. Their joint summer tour marks the first time ever Stills and Collins have been onstage together. For this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the two music legends will pull from their rich catalogs, choose debut songs from their most recent 2017 album, and share warm and intimate stories from their journeys and the1960s folk and Laurel Canyon scenes they helped build.
Stills and Collins met in 1967 and dated for two years. Stills wrote and demoed his legendary love song to Collins right after he left Buffalo Springfield, before he joined Crosby, Stills, & Nash (CSN). “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” is a five-section romantic epic brimming with heartfelt sincerity. The song has been ranked #418 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time poll.
Stills is known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as his solo work. In addition to “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” Stills is best known for the hits “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield and “Love the One You’re With” from his solo debut album, Stephen Stills. He is both a composer and multi-instrumentalist and ranked #28 in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” He also has the added distinction of being the first artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice in one night (for his work with CSN and Buffalo Springfield). He recently released a sophomore album with the Rides, the blues-rock supergroup he formed in 2013 with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg, and is currently putting the finishing touches on his long-awaited, much-anticipated autobiography.
Stills & Collins: Everybody Knows will be released on the heels of a very busy period for Collins, who released an album in 2015 and 2016. Strangers Again, released in 2015, earned Collins her highest Billboard 200 debut rating in almost thirty years, while Silver Skies Blue (2016), a duet album with Ari Hest, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. Recently been described by the New York Times as the “ageless wild angel of pop,” she has appeared in the television series Girls on HBO and published the book Cravings: How I Conquered Food earlier this year.
Throughout the night, Collins and Stills meet each other’s eyes with easy empathy, reflecting the sweet kinship they struck and maintained after their romance ended.
Their voices blend well, especially on the title song. The roughness of Stills’ leathery vocals meshes well with the Collins’ velvety crooning.