Judy Collins Pays Tribute to Stephen Sondheim

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Judy Collins via her Facebook page

In the hours following Stephen Sondheim’s passing on November 28, 2021, many musical legends posted their tributes to the American musical theater genius. Two days later, on Nov. 30, Judy Collins has penned her own glowing tribute to the composer of “Send in the Clowns,” which she recorded so beautifully in 1975.

She has recorded his music ever since and in 2016 she released the album A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim.

Here is Collins’ Facebook post in its entirety.

Remembering Stephen Sondheim
Nov 28 2021
By Judy Colins

The man who wrote “Send in the Clowns” was looking for a song that would fit the bill as an “extra” for Elaine Paige in A Little Night Music, which was about to go up on Broadway in 1973.

He went home, wrote “Send in the Clowns,” came back the next day and asked Elaine Paige to sing it. She did. He looked at Hal Prince, Hal told me a few years ago, and shrugged. “It will do,” he said.

It certainly will do. Stephen Sondheim wrote magnificently, relentlessly, beautifully, chillingly. Think Sweeney Todd and Assassins. He wrote of love and murder, of love and art, life and death -think In the Park With George, Little Night Music, Company and all the others. We stand in awe of his power as a poet and a writer, as he sadly passed into history and perhaps out of our reach. But he is not lost, for every ticket holder of every seat in every theater where his music will be performed and they will be performed, more and more even as he leaves us, the excitement and beauty and power of his writing will soar into our lives, into our hearts and make him live again.

Rest in peace Steve and thank you again for writing that “little extra,” “Send in the Clowns.”

[Ed., Although Paige has recorded the song, actress Glynis Johns originated the role on Broadway.]

Listen to Collins’ original recorded version.

Watch Collins perform the song live with an orchestra

Related: Our 2021 interview with Judy Collins

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  1. KEN
    #1 KEN 1 December, 2021, 09:04

    I NEVER GOT THAT SONG UNTIL BEFORE LOU RAWLS DID IT LIVE IN MY FACE 25 YEARS AGO….AND I FINALLY GOT IT , AND BOY DID I GET IT ….WHAT A MASTERPIECE

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