Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Born Judie Myers in London on April 3, 1956, British pop/rock singer Judie Tzuke enjoyed some commercial success in her homeland for a spell during the 1980s, but was not able to translate it stateside. Judie's Polish immigrant parents had changed their last names from Tzuke to Myers shortly after relocating to England (it was a common last name in their new home of Yorkshire), but by the time Judie began establishing her singing career, she had decided to use original family surname. Both of Tzuke's parents were involved in music: her father, Sefton Myers, managed artists and singers (and supported both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as the duo penned Jesus Christ Superstar), while her mother, Jean Silverside, acted in several popular films and TV shows. By her teenage years, Judie began penning poems and setting them to a guitar accompaniment, showcasing her original compositions at local folk clubs. Soon after, Tzuke met a songwriting collaborator in Mike Paxman, and the duo (known as Tzuke & Paxo) caught the attention of renowned producer Tony Visconti, who signed them to his Good Earth record label. The duo only managed to issue an obscure, lone 1977 single, "These are the Laws" b/w "It's Only Fantasies," before Tzuke was signed as a solo artist to Elton John's Rocket label (Paxman would remain on board, however, as a singer/guitarist/songwriter for several years).
Tzuke first issued a single for her new label, "For You," which was a moderate success on U.K. radio (scraping the Top 40), but around the time of the release of her full-length debut in 1979, Welcome to the Cruise, Tzuke scored a more substantial hit with "Stay with Me 'Till Dawn," which resulted in the song staying on the British charts for 16 weeks and several appearances on the popular Tops of the Pops TV program. Despite landing a prime touring spots opening for her pal Elton John (and playing to an estimated 450,000 people at New York's Central Park), John's label switched distribution in the U.S. around this time, which made it increasingly hard to find Tzuke's music in record stores. Despite it all, Tzuke's career continued to prosper in England, resulting in such further popular releases as 1980's Sportscar, 1981's I Am the Phoenix, and 1982's Shoot the Moon (in addition to appearances at British festivals and a pair of sold-out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon). Tzuke hoped that signing with a new label (Chrysalis) would bring her recording career to the next level. This, unfortunately, proved not to be the case, as Tzuke appeared to be lost in the shuffle when she issued her next studio release, Ritmo, in 1983.
Undeterred, Tzuke continued to issue further albums, including 1985's The Cat Is Out (recorded entirely at her home studio), 1989's Turning Stones, 1991's Left Hand Talking, and 1996's Wonderland (which featured a cameo by Queen guitarist Brian May). Tzuke formed her own record label, Big Moon Records, shortly thereafter, which issued Under the Angels and the in-concert Over the Moon in 1997; Secret Agent followed in 1998, as well as another live set, Six Days Before the Flood, in 2000. Around the same time, Elton John decided to return the copyrights of Tzuke's first three (and most popular) albums back to her, which resulted in all being remastered and reissued on Big Moon. Tzuke's next studio effort, Queen Secret Keeper, was released in 2001, with an all-covers album, The Beauty of Hindsight, following in 2003. The 2004 album After the End of the Beginning preceded her two-volume Songs series, with the first volume (2007) focusing on her softer material while the second (2008) favored rock. Two years later, her career-spanning Moon on a Mirrorball was supported by a tour of the U.K.