Julie Felix iTunes Tracks Julie Felix Official Website

Julie Felix

Inspired by JOAN BAEZ and JUDY COLLINS, and enticed by the lure of the burgeoning British folk scene in the early 60s, JULIE FELIX (born from Mexican and Native American stock, June 14, 1938, Santa Barbara, California) loved the sense of urgency and excitement so much that she stuck around in England, where she resided ever since.
Signed to Decca Records, 1964 saw her eponymous debut album issued. JULIE FELIX {*6}, filled with a handful of traditional cues and a fair number by DYLAN (`Masters Of War’ and `Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’) and GUTHRIE (`Plane Wreck At Los Gatos’, `Pastures Of Plenty’, `Ship In The Sky’ and `Sally Don’t You Grieve’), although the wanton commerciality proved an Achilles heel with the buying public.
THE SECOND ALBUM (1965) {*5} and THIRD ALBUM (1966) {*4} followed the same formulaic pattern albeit via different sources: IAN TYSON (`Someday Soon’ and `You Won I Lost’), BERT JANSCH (`Needle Of Death’), PHIL OCHS (`Days Of Decision’), TOM PAXTON (`I’ve Got Nothing But Time’) and DYLAN (`When The Ship Comes In’) – the latter “third set” had even more.
CHANGES (1966) {*6}, however, marked her inaugural move to Fontana Records, ultimately paying off as it hit the Top 30. Augmented throughout by JOHN RENBOURN and utilising guests MARTIN CARTHY and DAVE SWARBRICK (on the trad track `Geordie’), music sources this time, apart from a few of her own compositions, came through DYLAN (`One Too Many Mornings’, `Love Minus Zero – No Limit’ and `Ballad Of A Crystal Man’), DONOVAN (`To Try For The Sun’), DINO VALENTI (`Get Together’), GORDON LIGHTFOOT (`The Lost Children’ and `The Way I Feel’), PHIL OCHS (`Changes’), SHEL SILVERSTEIN (`I Can’t Touch The Sun’) and SYLVIA FRICKER (`Gifts Are For Giving’).
With help from television promotion on the David Frost Show, FLOWERS (1967) {*4} and THIS WORLD GOES ROUND & ROUND (1968) {*4} should really have given her further fruits, but her staid approach was now old hat.
Further television exposure through Once More With Felix and The Julie Felix Show, respectively, caught the mood of the public once again, resulting in a couple of Mickie Most-produced Top 30 hits during 1970, versions of `If I Could (El Condor Pasa)’ and `Heaven Is Here’; CLOTHO’S WEB {*6} was somewhat out of date when issued in ‘72.
Highlighting double bass by DANNY THOMPSON (of PENTANGLE), HOTA CHOCOLATA (1977) {*5} was a decent enough return, although – one could say unfairly – she’s never come close to emulating her fellow-American counterparts, BAEZ, COLLINS and songwriter JONI MITCHELL.
Always equally motivated by humanitarian causes throughout her career (she toured Kenya and Uganda), Julie was also acclaimed by a certain Mr. COHEN as “Britain’s Leading Lady Of Folk” – obviously pre-DENNY, PRIOR and McSHEE. A woman of the world (a conviction for marijuana possession didn’t hurt her too much), FELIX lived and recorded in Scandinavia for a while before she briefly returned to California. Settling back in England in the 80s, she’s toiled relentlessly in her work for political causes (women’s rights, green/environmental issues, etc.), while she’s continued to self-release several studio albums (1989’s BRIGHT SHADOWS {*5}, BRANCHES IN THE MIST (1993) {*6}, WINDY MORNING (1995) {*6}, FIRE – MY SPIRIT (1998) {*6}, STARRY EYED AND LAUGHING… SONGS BY BOB DYLAN (2002) {*6}, I WALK WITH BEAUTY (2003) {*5} and HIGHWAY OF DIAMONDS (2008) {*6}) from her base in Chorleywood in the heart of Hertfordshire. Remarkably, she’s still performing live the length and breadth of Britain… and beyond; Julie played Glastonbury in 2011.
Absent from the studio for a decade, the remarkable JULIE FELIX celebrated her 80th birthday with the release of a one-off album for Talking Elephant Records, entitled ROCK ME GODDESS (2018) {*6}. A guest appearance from STEELEYE SPAN’s Peter Knight ensured it a more contemporary feel, and with a breadth of beautiful songs from `Arms To Eden’ to `Woman’. Sadly, this recording was to be her swan song as she passed away after a short illness on 22nd March 2020.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Aug2015-Apr2020

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