We have a number of music legends scattered around Chorleywood but there must be only one who has been performing since the 60s and is still pulling a large crowd.
Julie Felix, who recently celebrated her 80thbirthday and her 54thyear in show business, still travels all over the country for gigs from the Orkneys to Cornwall – and she always arrives early
“Sound check is very important to me, I often have fights with the sound man!”
Julie was the first female folk artist to be signed to a major UK record company, arriving here from California via Europe in1964. Her magical tone, crisp vocals and delivery has gained her respect as a performer ever since. But it is the power that makes the difference and affects audiences.
And the power is still evident in her latest CD Rock Me Goddesswhich was released early this month on the Talking Elephantslabel.
“It’s my first album on a label for 20 years (other than my ownRemarkable Recordslabel) and the first I had to submit digitally. Nine of the thirteen tracks are original, one is traditional, arranged by me and the rest by three other people. One, called Corbinista, refers to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn.. People sometimes walk out when they hear the lyrics! Folk lets you sing about anything. It isn’t limited to love songs. I inhabit my songs. To quote Edith Piaf,. ‘My songs are myself, my flesh, my blood, my head, my heart, my soul.’ I think sometimes the song sings rather than me singing the song.”
And Julie has sung some brilliant songs over time. Her favourite?
“I can’t choose a favourite of my own songs! But besides these I Iove to sing the songs of fellow Gemini Bob Dylan.”
Julie was a resident singer on BBC’s 60s satirical comedy show The Frost Reportand then hosted her own TV show (the first series in colour!) with guests from Dusty and Spike Milligan to Donovan and Jimmy Page and her old friend Leonard Cohen who she met in Greece. As a well-known celeb herself she needed to retreat from the outside world. – Julie moved to Heronsgate in August 1969.
“I put up a high fence around house and I was a hermit – I’m still there and love it although I get itchy feet if I’m home for too long!”
Having recently returned from a break in her original home ‘town’ of Santa Barbara, Julie’s next gig is on her UK patch – she performs in Ricky later this month. Go and feel the power for yourself, although if you are a Tory, be prepared, Corbinista could well be on the set list.
Julie Felix in concert with The Polly Morris Band, Sat 13 October, St Mary’s Church Rickmansworth, WD3 1JB
£10, £12/50 on the door, Tel 01923 770425.
Rock Me Goddess is available on CD from her website www.juliefelix.com and on Spotify and iTunes.