For the past eleven years, Colorado Inside Out, the weekly public affairs roundtable on Colorado Public Television, has taken an annual trip in the Colorado Time Machine. The show's reported on current events of 1912 (last year's show, when I played Margaret "Molly" Brown or 1951 (the 2011 episode, when I masqueraded as Ethel Merman, an unlikely Denver housewife married to Bob Six, president of Continental Airlines). Tonight, the year is 1973, and Judy Collins will make an appearance -- sort of.
In '73, the Equal Rights Amendment was still being debated, our president insisted that he was not a crook, and singer Collins, East High School class of 1957, graced the cover of Ms. Magazine.
And yes, this time I'm playing Judy Collins -- who definitely deserves better (and will get it later this year, when she's inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, see below). "Send in the Clowns," indeed.
In stark contrast to my abysmal performance are star turns by host Dominic Dezzutti as Charley Martin; David Kopel as his father, state legislator Jerry Kopel; Kevin Flynn as Al Nakkula, the Rocky Mountain News cop reporter who had a five-decade tenure at the paper; and Dani Newsum as a fictitious performer known as Crystal, who leads the panel in song.
The shows are produced by Dezzutti and Larry Patchett, who's also the head researcher -- and his exhaustive look at the history of the period (see some of that research here), as well as the crew's attention to detail (don't miss the circa-1973 Colorado Inside Out typeface or the chairs appropriated from a staffer's parents for the seating) have been rewarded with numerous regional Emmy nominations. The show has won several times, and last year's 1912 edition is up for another award this month.
But the Colorado Time Machine isn't all about looking back: As a special web exclusive, tonight, we also take a look at the political landscape in 2025. A hint: It's not pretty. Tune into Channel 12 at 8 p.m. tonight for the trip back to 1973, and then catch the future on the web.
Judy Collins is still going strong, five decades after she got her start as a singer/songwriter, with gigs across the country. (Catch up with her on her Facebook page.)
And she'll be back in Denver on Friday, November 8, when the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presents Judy Collins in Concert live at the Paramount Theatre; Collins will not only perform, but she'll be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The show will also feature the Serendipity Singers, Bob Lin and Chris Daniels.
"The mission of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization, is to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions, to preserve and protect historical artifacts, and to educate the public regarding everything that's great about our state's music," says Chuck Morris, CHMOF's chairman. Previous inductees include John Denver and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Harry Tuft of the Denver Folklore Center, promoter Barry Fey of Family Dog fame, and the Astronauts, Sugarloaf, Flash Cadillac and KIMN radio.
The evening will also feature a video tribute to Denver's folk scene of the late 1950s and 1960s, interviews with the inductees, celebrity speeches and performances featuring inductees and guest members of popular Colorado bands. The pre-concert gala (a meet-and-greet with Judy) will have as backdrop an array of exhibits and archival photographs that will then move into the Colorado Hall of Fame.
Here's the Colorado Hall of Fame assessment of Collins's career:
Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century.
The award-winning singer-songwriter is esteemed for her imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards and her own poetically poignant original compositions. Her stunning rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" from her landmark 1967 album, Wildflowers, has been entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy's dreamy and sweetly intimate version of "Send in the Clowns," won "Song of the Year" at the 1975 Grammy Awards. She's garnered several top-ten hits gold- and platinum-selling albums. Recently, contemporary and classic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Arlo Gutherie, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen honored her legacy with the album Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins.
Her most recent release, the CD/DVD Judy Collins Live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, aired on PBS and celebrates her iconic career. On this magical night in her adopted hometown of New York City she performed her most beloved works -- from then and now -- at the Met's paradisal Temple of Dendur. It's a glowingly pure portrait of a treasured artist with one of the most pristine voices in music.
Judy Collins, now 74, is as creatively vigorous as ever, writing, performing 80 to 100 dates nationwide, and nurturing fresh talent. She is a modern-day Renaissance woman who is also an accomplished painter, filmmaker, record label head, musical mentor, and an in-demand keynote speaker for mental health and suicide prevention. She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.
Yes, she definitely deserves better than my performance -- and the event on November 8 should be an appropriate honor. Tickets, $38-$99, are now on sale at TicketHorse.com, or call 866-461-6556. Colorado Music Hall of Fame premium tickets (including meet and greet) are $200.
More from the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Jackalope, elk or explorer? DU is pioneering a new mascot."
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