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This Week: Judy Collins
This Week
November 26, 2004

This week on NOW:

Bill Moyers takes viewers on a revelatory and personal journey with singer Judy Collins, called “the voice of the century.” Still popular four decades after her first album, Collins reveals a window into her life and music, shaped by personal tragedy, but driven by hope. In public there was Judy Collins the dazzling performer, in private there was the battle with drugs and alcohol, TB, hepatitis and divorce. And then, in 1992, came a devastating blow when her son Clark committed suicide. Collins speaks with startling honesty about her son’s death and how she has dealt with this inconceivable tragedy. But today for Collins, there is healing and there is joy, which she has found, in part, through her work. “I think there's always a new story out there to find and tell. And I think that's what pulls me,” says Collins, who often during the interview breaks into song. “There is something beautiful around the corner.” Judy Collins’ impressive career has spanned more than 40 years. In 1961, she released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, and gained acclaim for her rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" on her classic 1967 album, Wildflowers. "Both Sides Now" has since been entered into the Grammy's Hall of Fame. Collins was awarded the Grammy Award in 1975 for "Song of the Year" for her version of "Send in the Clowns.”

Author and poet Roya Hakakian was a 12-year old living in Iran when the revolution swept through the country in 1979. At first she greeted it with excitement, believing the promises of the new and liberating society would come true, but soon the reality of an oppressive regime set in. David Brancaccio goes inside the world of Roya Hakakian, a young Iranian-born author who’s written a bittersweet memoir of poetry, passion and the intoxicating promise of revolution. “The early 80's in Iran were some of the most tragic years,” she tells Brancaccio. “The general idea in those years was either you're a sinner, in which case we…have executed you for the right reasons. Or, you're not a sinner, and you are innocent, in which case, even if we execute you, you will land in Heaven.” Hakakian’s most recent book is a memoir that unpacks memories of adolescence, revolutionary fervor, and poetry called JOURNEY FROM THE LAND OF NO: A GIRLHOOD CAUGHT IN REVOLUTIONARY IRAN.

In Depth

Judy Collins

Judy Collins: Voice of a Century

Support Lines


Roya Hakakian

History of Student Protests in Iran

Exploring Inspiration

Frida Kahlo
NOW's Book List

Quiz: Women in the Arts


Talk about what inspires creativity.


Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video

[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

Bill Moyers talks with Judy Collins (39:02)

David Brancaccio talks with Roya Hakakian (12:19)

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