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Judy Henske

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Producer Jack Nitzsche called her “The Queen of the Beatniks” and Woody Allen drew upon elements of her life and style while writing Annie Hall. She opened shows for Lenny Bruce and enjoyed a circle of creative friends that included Phil Ochs, Jackson Browne, and Shel Silverstein.

After moving to San Diego in 1959, folk and blues legend Judy Henske got her start in Pacific Beach coffeehouses. Around 1962, she joined ex-Kingston Trio member Dave Guard in the Whisky Hill Singers and recorded an album with them. Elektra Records was impressed enough with her to sign her up for a pair of albums, which she promoted in various Greenwich City clubs after relocating to NYC. She really began to earn national notice for her 1964 single “High Flying Bird.”

She followed up with albums on the Mercury and Reprise labels, performing on TV's The Judy Garland Show and appearing alongside Johnny Cash in the 1963 film Hootenanny Hoot. During this period, she also starred in an Off-Broadway musical written by Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) called Gogo Loves You.

Famous former San Diego neighbor Frank Zappa released Henske's 1969 Farewell Aldebaran full-length, produced by her husband (composer Jerry Yester), on his own Straight Records label, which also put out an album by her band Rosebud in 1971.

Later in the 70s, she wrote several hit songs with her second husband, keyboardist and composer Craig Doerge, including “Yellow Beach Umbrella” (recorded by Three Dog Night and Bette Midler), “Might as Well Have a Good Time” (covered by Crosby, Stills & Nash), and “Sauvez-Moi” (which topped the French record charts for Johnny Hallyday).

Henske wrote articles for the San Diego Reader in the 1990s. A new album called Loose in the World was released in 1999, followed by She Sang California (2004), and then a two-CD Rhino Records career retrospective called Big Judy: How Far This Music Goes, 1962-2004.

By 2022, Henke was living at a Los Angeles area hospice facility during a long illness. She passed away on April 27, at the age of 85.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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