"I have to think it's all possible or I might as well stop, and I don't want to stop now"
Judie Myers was born in London of an English Mother and a Polish extract Father.
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 supported Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice while they wrote Jesus Christ Superstar but unfortunately he died a few weeks before the musical opened. He had also been Chief Barker of The Variety Club of Great Britain and was a very popular impresario.
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.
After an education in the arts, music and drama, by the age of 15 Judie spent most of her time writing poems which she turned into songs and playing folk clubs, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. In 1975 she met Mike Paxman and together they started to write the songs that were to become her first releases. After making some demo tapes, they managed to get a record deal with David Bowie and T.Rex producer Tony Visconti's label Good Earth.
Judie decided to change her name back to her original family's surname "Tzuke". A single was released: "These are The Laws" which was recorded and produced by Tony Visconti and came out under the name of "Tzuke and Paxo". Whilst at Good Earth, Judie and Mike met Bob Noble and Paul Muggleton who were also on the label with their band "Omaha Sheriff".
In 1977 Judie went to see managing director David Croker at Elton John's label 'Rocket Records' as their motto was "a label for artists". She played them a few songs, one of which was "Stay With Me 'Till Dawn" and was immediately signed to the new label. Judie and Mike spent the next six months or so recording her first album 'Welcome To The Cruise' at Air Studios in London, with producer John Punter.
The first single was released in the summer of 1978, entitled 'For You' and was greeted with great critical acclaim and substantial air-play.
Judie's first album 'Welcome To The Cruise' album was released in 1979 along with the single 'Stay With Me 'Till Dawn'. The song stayed in the UK charts for 16 weeks, and she made three live appearances on Top of the Pops. The song became a firm favourite and is still played regularly on Radio in the U.K. It has appeared on dozens of compilation albums and regularly appears in lists of all time most popular songs.
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.
With the success of 'Welcome To The Cruise', Judie and Mike put together the first Judie Tzuke band. Joining them were their friends from 'Omaha Sherif': Paul Muggleton on guitar and backing vocals and Bob Noble on keyboards, along with bass player John Edwards and drummer Jeff Rich.
Judie and her band toured for the next 18 months and made her second album 'Sportscar' at Virgin's Manor studios, in Oxfordshire.
In 1980, Judie and her band toured America for three months as support to Elton John. The tour was well received, but during the tour Elton John 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 Elton himself said that he had never had a support act that went down so well, but the experience of such a long tour without any record company support was a very frustrating one. One LA newspaper reported after four nights at the LA Forum:
"Judie and her band played such a strong and confident set that the audience almost forget that they had come to see Elton John, her future success in the States is assured"
Back in the UK, Judie recorded her third album 'I Am The Phoenix' which, besides songs by Judie and Mike also included songs from Paul Muggleton and Bob Noble. Another lengthy UK tour culminated in appearances headlining the Glastonbury Festival in 1981 and some summer festivals in Europe. She then made the decision to leave Rocket and to sign with Chrysalis Records.
Judie was by this time selling out halls all over the UK and in parts of Europe. Her next album "Shoot The Moon" was recorded mainly at Rockfield studios in Wales and was released in 1982. During the spring tour two sell out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon (now The Carling Apollo) were recorded and later that year the acclaimed live album 'Roadnoise' was released.
Judie, Mike and Paul wrote new songs and went to Mayfair studios in London to record her fifth album, augmenting her stage band with a number of other musicians.
The following year saw the release of the 'Ritmo' album. Again she toured extensively but realising that she was not a priority act for Chrysalis and that they were not going to release the album in the States, she left Chrysalis for pastures new.
With the Chrysalis record deal behind her and wanting to have more control over her output and direction, Judie decided to release her next album with a new independent company called Legacy.
The album The Cat is Out' released in 1985 was recorded mainly at her home studio, and for the first time Judie and her producers Paul and Mike were able to record and mix the album without record company interference.
As the making of the album progressed, designs were drawn up for a purpose built studio (to be called 'Big Ocean Studios') which was to become the place where most of her records would be recorded in the future.
Another very successful sell out tour of the UK followed, including the release of a live video (and later DVD) from the show at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon in September 1985.
Having enjoyed the freedom of working with an independent label but finding that they did not have the resources to promote her music, Judie decided to have a break from live work and to look for a major record company once again. In June of 1987 Judie and her partner Paul Muggleton had their first daughter Bailey, and in that year the building of Big Ocean studios was completed and Judie, Mike, Paul and Bob Noble set about writing songs and customising the studio in preparation for the next album.
In 1987 Judie signed a deal with Polydor records for her seventh studio album 'Turning Stones', which featured guest appearances from violin supremo Nigel Kennedy and up-coming jazz sax star Andy Sheppard.
With the release of 'Turning Stones' Judie and her band began preparations for a full UK tour, rehearsals were started at Shepperton studios and tickets were put on sale, but a dispute between her management and Polydor records resulted in all tour finance and support being withdrawn and the tour had to be canceled only days before it was due to begin. Polydor insisted that Judie did not give any reasons for the cancellation as it would put promotion of her album at risk. The management at Polydor that had originally signed Judie had all moved on and the working situation with the record company became impossible, "Turning Stones" was deleted after selling out of the initial pressing.
Disappointment at the collapse of the album and the cancellation of the planned tour was hard to take, but Judie went straight back into the studio and started work on new tracks. The following year she signed a new deal with Sony who had recently acquired the famous CBS and Columbia labels. In 1991 the album 'Left Hand Talking' was released on Columbia, which included an atmospheric version of the Beach Boys song 'God Only Knows' and a re-recording of her classic hit 'Stay With Me Till Dawn'. Judie put together a new band and played two nights at the Shaw Theatre and shows at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London.
Her next album 'Wonderland' was recorded at Big Ocean Studios with guest appearances from Brian May of Queen and violinist Nigel Kennedy. On the release of the album, Billboard editor Timothy White did an editorial and interview with Judie as part of his series 'Music to My Ears'.
The album was received with critical acclaim here and abroad and the single 'Wonderland' became a nationwide turntable hit. Judie realised that working with smaller labels gave her more control, but once again the record company was unable to sufficiently promote the album. Though not deleted this album was not available for most of 1996, and was re-released in 1997.
In 1992 Judie toured with the songs from 'Wonderland' and for the first time played smaller halls with a more intimate atmosphere, being more suitable for the new jazzier and lighter approach to her music.
In 1994 Judie and Paul's second daughter Tallula was born and Judie spent time working on new songs and developing her interest in photography. She took some publicity shots for her friend Virginia Astley and musically she worked on some of the projects Mike and Paul were doing at Big Ocean, singing on albums by Paul Norton in Australia, Nick Kamen (backing vocals on his hit 'I Promise Myself') vocals on an ambient production by Art of Noise member JJ Jeczalik and some backing vocals on tracks with Rush, Nick Green and Gary Moore.
She decided that in order to be more in charge of her future she would start her own label 'Big Moon Records' and her first album on the label 'Under The Angels' was recorded between the autumn of 1995 and the summer of 1996.
Produced as usual by Paul and Mike, the album featured the drumming of Andy Newmark and a series of new players with the intention of making a more performance orientated album, with a more 'natural' sound and without studio tricks or filtering.
In February and June 1997, Judie toured with the songs from the new album and a fantastic new band. A live album of these tours titled "Over The Moon" was released later in that year.
Judie's next studio album "Secret Agent" was released in December 1998 and she toured again in the UK in January and February 1999.
In December 1999, Elton John offered to return the copyrights to Judie for her first three albums (originally released on Elton's Rocket label), and re-mastered versions of "Welcome To the Cruise", "Sportscar", and "I Am The Phoenix" were re-released on Big Moon in February 2000.
The "Phoenix 2000" UK tour took place in April/May 2000, and the "Other Half" tour in October 2000, during which Judie and her band previewed tracks from her next studio album "Queen Secret Keeper", which was released in late 2001.
A live album of the October 2000 tour titled "Six Days Before The Flood" was released around Christmas 2000, and features four previously unrecorded songs, plus a version of Colin Bluntstone's hit "I Don't Believe In Miracles".
The studio album "Queen Secret Keeper" was released in 2001, and received stunning reviews, Judie again toured in the UK, releasing another album of the tour: "Drive Live" in 2002.
In 2003 Judie realised a long-standing ambition - to record a "covers" album featuring songs that she has grown up with by artistes who have had an influence on her musically. The album "The Beauty Of Hindsight" featured songs by John Martyn, Elton John, Steve Miller, Crowded House and many others, including her own take on the Beatles' "Hey Judie" a song close to her heart! Her 2003 The Beauty Of Hindsight tour took in 12 shows in the UK ending with two sell out shows at London's Bush Hall.
In 2004 Judie released "The End Of The Beginning", a collection of 11 stunning new songs, including the beautiful "Like The Sun" which was covered by the duo Ryan Dan and became a radio favourite in the UK. A UK tour followed the release of the album.
Realising she had a large collection of unreleased material, in 2007 Judie released the first of the "Songs" series. Songs#1 featured songs written with Ben Mark, Gareth Gates, David P. Goodes, David Saw, Jamie Norton and Graham Kearns. Judie went on the road with the first of her "review" tours, also featuring some of the artists she had been working with, including a set by her daughter Bailey. In the summer, she joined Morcheeba at their appearance at the Guilfest Festival to sing "Enjoy The Ride", which Judie wrote for their 2008 album 'Dive Deep'. This was followed in 2008 with the release of Songs#2, her second collection of demos and collaborations.
2009 saw the 30th anniversary of the album "Welcome to The Cruise", and a celebration concert at London's Globe Theatre where a number of artists performed versions of songs from the Tzuke catalogue. Judie closed the show with "Stay With Me 'Till Dawn".
The retrospective compilation "Moon on a Mirrorball" was released on Wrasse Records in 2010 and Judie toured the UK in September and October with a band that included both her daughters Bailey and Tallula on backing vocals. The tour climaxed with a stunning show featuring a wide selection of her old and new songs at the Union Chapel in Islington.
Judie's most recent album, "One Tree Less" was released on Big Moon in 2012, the album contains some of Judie's best songs, including the beautiful 'Joy' and 'Humankind'. Judie and her band once again took to the road in March and April.
When not working on her own recordings Judie has continued to explore her unique ability to write beautiful songs, working with a large number of artists including Lucie Silvas, Morcheeba, Tom Baxter, David Saw, Kirsty Hawkshaw, Gareth Gates, Alex Parks, Ryan Dan, Hybrid, Fragma, Alesha and many others. Her songs have been covered and recorded by a wide range of artists including Mylo, Mint Royale, Elaine Page, Peter Cox and The Swingle Singers.
Judie continues to be one of the UK's best and most unique singers and songwriters... as she said when interviewed for her 2010 retrospective album "Moon on a Mirrorball": "I have to think it's all possible or I might as well stop, and I don't want to stop now" - "I don't want to be thought of as an artist from any particular era, I feel I am just as much from the 70s as from this decade... I'm just doing what I do".