Last updated 7/18/2007
The Judy Mayhan Website
Dedicated to the life and music of singer/songwriter Judy Mayhan
Judy Mayhan began her recording career in 1962 when Horizon Records released her first LP, Rockin' The Cradle. The album presented Judy's remarkably clear and precise soprano voice singing traditional American folk songs and accompanying herself on mountain dulcimer. The album was later reissued by Everest/Tradition Records as Folk Songs of Olde Eire (even though most of the songs are not Irish). The whole album was recorded on the first take, with no playbacks. After over two decades during which the album became a rare collector's item, it was finally reissued on CD in 2002 by Shayomi Productions, which is owned by members of Judy's family.
"Judy Mayhan is a rare treat...an unusually fresh experience. She sings in soft, sweet tones of bell clarity. Audiences appreciate the superb quality she has." —Variety, Mar. 1, 1962
See below for more about Judy and her later albums.
Judy Mayhan in her studio
Photo by Nicholas Wilson
Judy's Latest CD Released!
When I Think Of You
When I Think Of You was released in 2004 as a special, signed and numbered limited edition CD with a deluxe sixteen page booklet containing lyrics and Judy's notes for each song, plus photos and sketches. With the limited edition long since sold out, the open edition with a four page booklet is currently available. You can still read or print out the deluxe booklet as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file from the link below. All CDs sold by Shayomi are personally signed by Judy Mayhan.
When I Think of You is the first in a planned series of retrospective albums compiled from unreleased recordings of Judy at the peak of her musical powers. The majority of the tracks were recorded at Tonto Studios in Los Angeles in 1979, and the rest were recorded live in 1977 at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Judy sings and accompanies herself on grand piano, with minimal bass accompaniment on the G.A.M.H. tracks. Judy performs an eclectic mix of song styles including four of her own compositions plus country, folk and jazz ballads.
After a 26-year career as a singer, musician and recording artist, health issues caused Judy to stop performing in 1986. Fortunately for her many fans the world over, Judy has an archive of recordings that preserve some of her best performances. When I Think Of You may well be Judy's best album ever.
"Judy is one of my all time favorite singer-songwriters and the most gifted vocalist of all of them."
— Stephen Hill, host of Hearts of Space syndicated radio program.
Track List for When I Think Of You
1. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Jimmy Webb
2. The Bells - Judy Mayhan
3. Down In Your Soul - Todd Barkan & Judy Mayhan
4. He’s Funny That Way - Richard Whiting & Neil Moret
5. When I Think Of You - Judy Mayhan
6. Nobody’s Home - Judy Mayhan
7. Look To The Rainbow - E.Y. Harburg & Burton Lane
8. Ne Me Quitte Pas - Jacques Brel & Rod McKuen
9. Biloxi - Jesse Winchester
10. Swallow Song - Richard Fariña
11. Hands On The Wheel - William Callery
12. Gratitude - Judy Mayhan
View the complete 16 page deluxe CD booklet here:
CD Booklet for When I Think Of You (272 KB Adobe Acrobat PDF file; requires Acrobat Reader 5 or later to view)
A new window should open for the Acrobat viewer, and while it loads you can continue reading here. You can print out the booklet or save the file on your computer after it finishes downloading.
About Judy Mayhan
(from the CD booklet for Rockin' the Cradle)
Judy was born and raised in the Midwest, where she studied classical piano and voice, ultimately majoring in Voice/Theatre at the University of Kansas. In 1960 she hitch-hiked to New York City with a beat-up $50 guitar and $100 in her pocket, determined to explore the possibilities of a career in music and/or theatre. She found a job in a sandal-making shop and fell into the beginning of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village.
The legendary Dave Van Ronk befriended Judy and introduced her to the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, saying it would go well with her lyric soprano voice. Dave helped her find gigs, the very first as opening act for him. Between the Sunday afternoon happenings at Sheridan Square Park and hootenannies in places like The Gaslight Coffeehouse and Gerde’s Folk City, Judy honed her talents along with contemporaries like Bob Dylan, Hoyt Axton, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bob Gibson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Peter, Paul and Mary and countless others.
By 1962 Judy had made her way cross-country with Hoyt Axton, performing in the folk scenes of San Francisco and Los Angeles, including the Troubadour, where she was offered this first album opportunity. After the album release, she appeared on the Steve Allen TV variety show. Her clear soprano voice and sensitivity to the deeper meaning of a song became well known in folk music circles.
Not one to be pigeonholed in a single genre, and influenced by all kinds of music, Judy went on to record two popular albums for Atco/Atlantic (Moments in 1970) and Decca (Judy Mayhan in 1971), both now digitally remastered and available on CD from Shayomi. They include her first original songs as well as covers penned by peers such as Lowell George and Fred Neil. During the ’70s and ’80s Judy continued to mature and grow, turning to jazz vocals and building a following of devoted fans.
Coming soon from Shayomi are CDs of the best of Judy’s live jazz performances at clubs and concerts in Northern California, where she has made her home for the past three decades.
(End of excerpt from CD booklet)
Collectible Original LP Albums by Judy Mayhan
Rockin' The Cradle
1st LP record album
Horizon - 1962
2nd LP record album
Atco/Atlantic - 1970
3rd LP record album
Decca - 1971
You may be able to buy used copies of Judy's LP albums from used record dealers. However, the CD reissues available below are a better deal in terms of sound quality.
Judy Mayhan CDs
Note: At this time we are not taking any new orders for CDs, either on this website or by mail. Hopefully we will resume order taking at some point in the future. Please check this site for updates. If you would like to be notified when CDs are available again please click here and then send the resulting email.
Each CD is personally signed by Judy, and each one is essentially hand made, including color jewel box inserts for When I Think Of You, Moments and See Here, and a four-page black and white insert for Rockin' the Cradle.
Rockin' The Cradle
Shayomi CD -103 (2002)
Shayomi CD-102 (2001)
See Here (Judy Mayhan)
Shayomi CD-101 (2000)
When I Think Of You
Shayomi CD-104 (2004)
PO Box 513
Mendocino CA 95460
A little Northern California label has reissued a lost treasure of a record released in 1971. Judy Mayhan recorded three major label albums in the late '60s and early '70s before she disappeared. Discovered first by Atlantic Record's Ahmet Ertegun, her exquisite voice brings forth, on this 1971 Decca recording produced by Nik Venet, recording gems written by the likes of Randy Newman, Lowell George, Fred Neil, and Dory Previn. But where her beautiful voice — with an emotional range that arches from an angel's sweetness to the down and dirty sadness of a lost hobo — really shines when she sings her own compositions. "See Here" and "Freest Fancy" are as sonically viable today as anything you might hear on any of the best Americana or triple A stations in the country today. A Heartfelt thank you to the folks at Shayomi Productions in Mendocino, California. (www.judymayhan.com)
--Reviewed by Jim Fouratt in LGNY, January 2002, "Best Music of 2001" Top 25 CDs of the Year (see link below)
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Other web pages related to Judy Mayhan
Judy Mayhan Discography with graphics and sound clips
(from the American Music web pages by Stefan Wirz, Hannover, Germany)
Chaz Reviews Judy Mayhan's Moments by Charles G. Hill
Judy Mayhan 1962 Album Reissued on CD
from the Folk Scare Discussion Board
The Great Folk Scare Main Page
The Best In Music for 2001 list includes Shayomi's CD reissue of See Here in the reviewer's Top 25 CDs of 2001 list along with Bob Dylan, Rodney Crowell and Yoko Ono. (Note that the site has recently folded, so the link is to our copy.)
Kate Wolf - Poet's Heart - See Here, She Said song dedicated to Judy Mayhan
Horizon Album Discography - by Mike Callahan and David Edwards
The Little Feat Official Website - including Lowell George's discography, which includes Moments
Other websites of interest
Karen Harvey is a musician and artist who now lives in Salema, a fishing village on southwest coast of Portugal.
Nicholas Wilson's site includes hundreds of photos of folk-oriented musicians in performance.
The Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival takes place the last weekend of June each year. Click for photos.
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