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Turn on your speakers, click on the play button above and enjoy…

Yesterday I was so strong – and resisted going to the market. I love it there and have got to know many of the stall holders by name, standing and chatting for ages. But I had work to do…reading for my MA amongst many other things…so I resisted. I also made a new card! What do you think? You can see it for sale in my shop here.

Of course without my weekendly flea-market fix I felt miserable! So when my beau went to Sainsburys I asked him to nip to HMV to pick up a CD that I’d been wanting since it came out last Monday. I’d spent nothing at the market…so I could justify…surely?! 

I have all but one of her albums, and am not normally swayed by ‘definitive collections’ – however, I am a fan – and decided it would help complete my collection!

Judie Tzuke was born in 1956 in London. Her father’s family had come to Britain from Poland in the 1920’s and had originally settled in Yorkshire. They had changed their name from their original Polish name “Tzuke” to Myers because it was one of the more common names in Yorkshire at that time and they wanted to blend into the community where they had come to live.

Her father Sefton Myers, was a successful Park Lane based property developer, who also managed artists and singers. He co-managed and was responsible for supporting Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice while they wrote Jesus Christ Superstar but unfortunately he died a few weeks before the musical opened. Her mother, Jean Silverside, was an actress in films and popular TV series’ such as The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, The Marty Feldman show, The Goodies and various other TV plays.

By the age of 15 Judie was spending most of her time writing poems (which she turned into songs) playing folk clubs, whilst accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. She went to Island Records to try and get a record deal and after she’d played two songs was asked if she had any more? She replied that she had twenty (which she didn’t!) They asked her to come back and record them the following week; she didn’t return, but their interest made her realise that she could have a career in music.

Eventually she signed to Elton John’s ‘Rocket Records’ Label in 1977 where she recorded her first 3 albums and in 1980, Jude and her band toured America for three months as his support. The tour was well received, but during the tour Elton decided to change the US distribution for his Rocket label from MCA to the new Geffin label. MCA consequently decided to stop all tour support and promotion for the acts on the Rocket label, which meant that Judie was playing to huge audiences, including 450,000 people in New York’s Central Park, but no-one knew who she was and her records were not available in the shops. She received rave reviews for the tour and even Elton John himself said that he’d never had a support act (to date) who had gone down so well!

Sadly, this was indicative of things to come. Judie’s career was never fully in her control nor supported in the way she’d hoped by the record companies, resulting in signing with 6 different record labels over her first 9 albums. Tours were cancelled, and lack of financial backing and publicity here (and abroad) meant that she never regained the success of her first album ‘Welcome to the Cruise’ nor it’s recognisable single ‘Stay with me ’til Dawn’. However, she persevered and eventually became totally self-financed.

As part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s fifty year reign in June 2002, BBC Radio Two conducted a poll to determine the top fifty British songs of the past fifty years. “Stay With Me Till Dawn” was at No. 39. Not bad for a relatively unknown artist and a song which only reached Number 16 in the charts back in 1979.

20 albums later, Judie is still going strong and still writing and releasing songs – for both herself and others. She has recently been working with Seth Lakeman, Morcheeba, The Freemasons and Gareth Gates amongst many others.  This release ‘Moon on a Mirrorball’ is a collection of 33 songs which includes 4 newly penned songs as well as re-recordings of 2 of her classics. Because of Judie’s history of different record companies, alot of her albums have been deleted and are now unaccessible – even to her. Due to this, the collection isn’t quite as ‘definitive’ as I (nor Judie, I’m sure!!) had hoped with many strong single releases and whole albums missing – but still a good representation of a 33 year long career nonetheless.

The only CD of hers that I don’t have is ‘Ritmo’ – her 5th album – which has long been deleted and thus very very rare – so if any of you ever see it please let me know!! My beau and I often joke when we’re out and about in new towns, looking in charity shops at their CDs. We’ll often take it in turns to go in them to look – and he’ll ask when I’ve come out: ‘Anything any good?’ and I’ll reply ‘Not really, nothing worth buying…only Boyzone, Judie Tzuke’s Ritmo and a few Spice Girls albums!’ You have to be there…but it tickles us every time ;-) One day we’re going to be really shocked, I just know it – and find it in between Geri Halliwell and Gary Barlow for £1.99! 

‘And I’ll show you a sunset…if you’ll stay with me ’til dawn’

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