Julie Felix an American-born, British-based folk recording artist who achieved success, particularly on British television in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She later performed and released albums on her own record label.
Born in Santa Barbara, California, United States, Felix graduated in 1956 from high school in Westchester, Los Angeles. In 1964, the same year that she arrived in the United Kingdom, she became the first solo folk performer signed to a major British record label when she gained a recording contract with Decca Records.Within a decade she had a well-established career. In 1965, she was reportedly the first folksinger to fill the Royal Albert Hall, and was described by The Times as “Britain’s First Lady of Folk”.
In 1966, Felix became the resident singer on the BBC television programme The Frost Report, presented by David Frost. She hosted her own shows for the BBC from 1967 to 1970, including the series Once More With Felix (the first episode was transmitted on December 9, 1967). Among those featured on her show were the Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, Leonard Cohen and Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, who played the “White Summer” and “Black Mountain Side” guitar solo pieces. On May 1, 1967 she appeared on the German TV show Beat-Club; in September 1968 at the International Essen Song Days. She performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.
In 1968, Felix was caught in possession of drugs at Heathrow Airport, and her public image suffered. She was defended in court by John Mortimer, QC.
She had two UK Singles Chart hits in 1970, the first of several on the RAK label, produced by Mickie Most. The first was with the song entitled “If I Could (El Cóndor Pasa)”, while the second, “Heaven is Here”, was written by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson of Hot Chocolate. In 1990 a new album, Bright Shadows, was released.
On March 24, 2008, she appeared on a BBC Four programme in which stars of The Frost Report gathered for a night celebrating 40 years since Frost Over England; Felix sang “Blowin’ in the Wind”. She appeared at the Wynd Theatre, Melrose, Scottish Borders, on an annual basis in the 2000s.
Felix lived in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England, until her death, still recording and performing, appearing on stage on her 80th birthday in 2018.
- June, 14, 1938
- Santa Barbara
- March, 22, 2020
- Hertfordshire, England
Cause of Death
- after a short illness