Albums I Want to Be Buried With: Cris Williamson, The Changer and the Changed

Really?  Cris Williamson?

Feel free to dump a ton-load of quizzical looks my way.  It’s all right.  I understand.

But Chuck… isn’t this an album for… and aren’t you…

And I respond… What’s the big deal?

There’s so much about this album that could get lost in the perspective of “well, this album is targeted toward a specific demographic that doesn’t include men.”  This can actually be enjoyed by anyone who loves folk music.

This is a folk album from approximately 1974, and features folk singer Cris Williamson with several inspirational songs like “Waterfall” and “Song of the Soul” and “Tender Lady,” that are songs that resonate with you, no matter who you are.

In fact, “The Changer and the Changed” holds a distinction of being one of the biggest-selling independent records of the 1970’s, selling half a million copies in its initial release without a stitch of radio airplay.

True story.  Around 1999 or 2000, I proposed an article to Goldmine magazine about this album, and was able to interview Cris Williamson and her partner, Tret Fure, regarding this album and their new CD at the time.  Now, when I worked on an article about an artist for Goldmine, I would normally buy some of that artist’s LP’s and listen to them over and over again, so that I could understand the music and composition and emotion of the artist.  And that included this LP.  And before long, I was singing along to the CD as I played it in my car.

The article was published, and it was favorably received.  A few months later, Williamson and Fure played the Eighth Step performance hall in Albany, so I took Vicki to the concert.  We had a good time there – but, and this is a true story, we sat next to a couple who looked at me as if I had entered the wrong wedding reception and was about to toast the bride and groom.

And I swear, I heard this conversation between them.

“What’s he doing here?  And… how does he know the words to her songs?”