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She started out singing in Chicago folk music clubs as a teenager. Then, barely out of high school, Lucy Kaplansky took off for New York City. There she found a fertile community of songwriters and performers—Suzanne Vega, Steve Forbert, The Roches, and others. With a beautiful flair for harmony, Lucy was everyone’s favorite singing partner, but most often she found herself singing as a duo with Shawn Colvin. People envisioned big things for them; in fact, The New York Times said it was “easy to predict stardom for her.” But then Lucy dropped it all.
Convinced that her calling was in another direction, Lucy left the musical fast track to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Upon completing her degree, Dr. Kaplansky took a job at a New York hospital working with chronically mentally ill adults, and also started a private practice. Yet she continued to sing. Lucy was often pulled back into the studio by her friends, (who now had contracts with record labels) wanting her to sing on their albums. She harmonized on Colvin’s Grammy-winning "Steady On," and on Nanci Griffith’s "Lone Star State of Mind" and "Little Love Affairs." She also landed soundtrack credits, singing with Suzanne Vega on "Pretty in Pink" and with Griffith on "The Firm," and several commercial credits as well—including “The Heartbeat of America” for Chevrolet.
Then Shawn Colvin—who was itching to produce a record—hooked up with Lucy, her ex-singing partner. They went into the studio, and when Lucy’s solo tapes got into the hands of Bob Feldman, president of Red House Records, he was blown away. Suddenly, Lucy was back in the music business. She signed with Red House Records and started playing gigs. Red House released The Tide in 1994 to rave reviews, and within six months Lucy signed with a major booking agency—Fleming Artists—and began touring so much it required leaving her two psychologist positions behind.