Judy Henske, a distinctive voice on the folk scene, dies at 85

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Judy Collins, in her book “Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music” (2011), wrote that Albert Grossman, the manager who was instrumental in forming the band Peter, Paul and Mary, suggested that ‘She, Mrs. Henske and Jo Mapes form a trio, which he proposes to call the Brown-Eyed Girls. “You can get brown contact lenses,” he told Ms Collins.

This idea fizzled, but Mrs. Henske was doing just fine on her own. Mr. Doerge said he first met her when, returning home from college over the Christmas break in 1964, he was asked to fill in for her as backing pianist for a show that she was at La Cave, a club in Cleveland.

“Judy was already famous at the time,” he said, “and I was impressed.”

That same year, Mrs. Henske went on tour with a young comedian named Woody Allen, with whom she sometimes shared the bill at the Village Gate and other New York clubs. Later, she was often said to have inspired Mr. Allen’s character, Annie Hall (who, like Mrs. Henske, was from Chippewa Falls), something she was asked about so often that, she said in the 2000 interview with the Santa Cruz newspaper, he annoyed her a bit.

“Woody used a lot of people as role models for his people in his movies,” she said. “Annie Hall was an amalgamation of maybe three different people. I think it was Louise Lasser, me and what’s her name, the movie actress.

Diane Keaton? asked the interviewer.

“Yes, Diane Keaton.”

“So,” she added, “let’s leave Woody out.”

In addition to her husband, Ms Henske, who lived in Los Angeles, is survived by a daughter from her first marriage, Kate DeLaPointe, and a granddaughter.

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