~~January 10, 2014~~
Joan Baez (born January 9, 1941 as Joan Chandos Báez) is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist. Baez has performed publicly for over 55 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish as well as in English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages. She is regarded as a folk singer, although her music has diversified since the counterculture days of the 1960s and now encompasses everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music.
Although a songwriter herself, Baez is generally regarded as an interpreter of other people’s work, having recorded songs by the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Violeta Parra, Woody Guthrie, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and many others. In recent years, she has found success interpreting songs of modern songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter,Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant. Her recordings include many topical songs and material dealing with social issues.
She began her recording career in 1960, and achieved immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status, and stayed on the charts of hit albums for two years.
Baez has had a popular hit song with “Diamonds & Rust” and hit covers of Phil Ochs‘s “There but for Fortune” and The Band‘s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down“. Other songs associated with Baez include “Farewell, Angelina“, “Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word“, “Joe Hill“, “Sweet Sir Galahad” and “We Shall Overcome“. She performed three of the songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, helped to bring the songs of Bob Dylan to national prominence, and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment.
Baez performing in 2012
|Birth name||Joan Chandos Báez|
|Born||January 9, 1941 (age 72)|
|Origin||Staten Island, New York City, United States|
|Genres||Folk, folk rock, country, gospel|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, activist|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, ukulele|
Gold Castle (1987–1991)
|Associated acts||Jackson Browne, Mary Chapin Carpenter,Judy Collins, Donovan, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Mimi Fariña, the Grateful Dead, Janis Ian, the Indigo Girls, Odetta, Pete Seeger,Paul Simon, Rocker T, Dar Williams|
Baez was born on Staten Island, New York, in 1941. Her father, Albert Baez, was born in 1912 in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico, and died on March 20, 2007. His father, Joan’s grandfather, the Reverend Alberto Baez, left Catholicism to become a Methodist minister and moved to the U.S. when Albert was two years old. Albert grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where his father preached to—and advocated for—a Spanish-speaking congregation.
Albert first considered becoming a minister but instead he turned to the study of mathematics and physics, where he later became a co-inventor of the x-ray microscope and author of one of the most widely used physics textbooks in the U.S. The Baez family converted to Quakerism during Joan’s early childhood, and she has continued to identify with the tradition, particularly in her commitment to pacifism and social issues.
Her mother, Joan (Bridge) Baez, referred to as Joan Senior or “Big Joan”, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the second daughter of an English Anglican priest descended from the Dukes of Chandos. Born in April 1913, she died on April 20, 2013, days after her hundredth birthday. Joan Senior and Albert met at a high-school dance in Madison, New Jersey, and quickly fell in love. After their marriage, the newlyweds moved to California.
Baez had two sisters — the elder, Pauline, and the younger, Mimi Fariña. Mimi, also a musician and activist, died of cancer in California in 2001.
Because of her father’s work in health care and with UNESCO, the family moved many times, living in towns across the U.S, as well as in England, France, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, and the Middle East, including Iraq, where they were in 1951. Joan became involved with a variety of social causes early in her career, including civil rights and non-violence. Social justice, she stated in the PBS series American Masters, is the true core of her life, “looming larger than music”.
Highly visible in civil-rights marches, Baez became more vocal about her disagreement with the Vietnam War. In 1964, she publicly endorsed resisting taxes by withholding sixty percent of her 1963 income taxes. In 1964, she founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence (along with her mentor Sandperl) and encouraged draft resistance at her concerts.
In 1966, Baez’s autobiography “Daybreak” was released. It is the most detailed report of her life through 1966 and outlined her anti-war position, dedicating the novel to men facing imprisonment for resisting the draft.
Baez was arrested twice in 1967 for blocking the entrance of the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakland, California and spent over a month in jail. (See also David Harris section below.)
She was a frequent participant in anti-war marches and rallies, including:
- numerous protests in New York City organized by the Fifth Avenue Vietnam Peace Parade Committee, starting with the March 1966 Fifth Avenue Peace Parade
- a free 1967 concert at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., that had been opposed by the Daughters of the American Revolution which attracted a crowd of 30,000 to hear her anti-war message
- the 1969 Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam protests.
There were many others, culminating in Phil Ochs’s The War Is Over celebration in New York City in May 1975.
During the Christmas season 1972, Baez joined a peace delegation traveling to North Vietnam, both to address human rights in the region, and to deliver Christmas mail to American prisoners of war. During her time there, she was caught in the U.S. military’s “Christmas bombing” of Hanoi, North Vietnam, during which the city was bombed for eleven straight days.
Her disquiet at the human-rights violations of communist Vietnam made her increasingly critical of its government and she organized the May 30, 1979, publication, of a full-page advertisement (published in four major U.S. newspapers) in which the communists were described as having created a nightmare.
Baez has also been prominent in the struggle for homosexual rights. In 1978, she performed at several benefit concerts to defeat the Briggs Initiative, which proposed banning all homosexuals from teaching in the public schools of California. Later that same year, she participated in memorial marches for the assassinated San Francisco city supervisor, Harvey Milk, who was openly homosexual.
In the 1990s, she appeared with her friend Janis Ian at a benefit for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a homosexual lobbying organization, and performed at the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March.
On Earth Day 1999, Baez and Bonnie Raitt honored environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill with Raitt’s Arthur M. Sohcot Award in person on her 180-foot (55 m)-high redwood treetop platform, where Hill had camped to protect ancient redwoods in the Headwaters Forest from logging.
War in Iraq
In early 2003, Baez performed at two rallies of hundreds of thousands of people in San Francisco protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq (as she had earlier done before smaller crowds in 1991 to protest the Gulf War).
In August 2003, she was invited by Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle to join them in London, U.K., at the Concert For a Landmine-Free World.
In the summer of 2004, Joan joined Michael Moore‘s “Slacker Uprising Tour” on American college campuses, encouraging young people to get out and vote for peace candidates in the upcoming national election.
In August 2005, Baez appeared at the Texas anti-war protest that had been started by Cindy Sheehan.
THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
The Civil Rights movement wasn’t just about grandiose speeches and performances in front of thousands of people at the nation’s capital and elsewhere. It was also about Baez, Pete Seeger, the Freedom Singers, Harry Belafonte, Guy Carawan, Paul Robeson, and others standing on truck beds and in churches across the South, singing together with strangers and neighbors about our collective right to freedom and equality. It was built on conversations and sing-alongs, people being able to look around them to see their friends and neighbors joining in, singing, “We shall overcome. We shall overcome. We shall overcome some day.”
The fact so many folksingers joined Dr. King and various groups that were instrumental in the movement, in their effort to spread the word about civil rights, was hugely relevant, not only because it brought added media attention to the effort, but also because it showed there was a faction of the white community who were willing to stand up for the rights of African-American people. The presence of folks like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Odetta, Harry Belafonte, and Pete Seeger alongside Dr. King and his allies served as a message to people of all colors, shapes, and sizes that we are all in this together.
Unity is an important message at any time, but during the height of the civil rights movement, it was a vital component. The folksingers who joined in spreading Dr. King’s message of vital change through nonviolence not only helped change the course of events in the South, but also helped encourage people to add their voice to the chorus. This helped validate the movement and gave people comfort and the knowledge that there was hope in their community. There can be no fear when you know you’re not alone. Listening together to artists they respected, and singing together in times of struggle, helped activists and regular citizens (often one and the same) to persevere in the face of great fear.
Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust (With Lyrics)
Published on Jan 6, 2013
Diamonds & Rust is a 1975 album by Joan Baez. Baez is often regarded as an interpreter of other people’s work, and on this album she covered songs by Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, The Allman Brothers, and Jackson Browne. But Diamonds & Rust also contained a number of her own compositions, including the acclaimed title track, a distinctive song written about Bob Dylan.
Joan Baez – Where have All The Flowers Gone
Uploaded on Apr 9, 2006
Joan Baez at the Operation Ceasefire Concert in Washington DC on 9/24/2005
JOAN BAEZ ~ The Altar Boy And The Thief ~
Seeking some turf on which nothing encumbers
The buying and selling of casual looks
Stuff that gets printed in x-rated books
Your mother might have tried to understand
When you were hardly your daddy’s little man
And you gave up saluting the chief
To find yourself some relief
Finely plucked eyebrows and skin of satin
Smiling seductive and endlessly Latin
Olympic body on dancing feet
Perfume thickening the air like heat
A transient star of gay bar fame
You quit your job and changed your name
And you’re nearly beyond belief
As you hunt down a little relief
The seven foot black with the emerald ring
Broke up a fight without saying a thing
As the cops cruised by wanting one more chance
To send Jimmy Baldwin back over to France
And a trucker with kids and a wife
Prefers to spend half of his life
In early Bohemian motif
Playing pool and getting relief
My favorite couple was looking so fine
Dancing in rhythm and laughing in rhyme
In the light of the jukebox all yellow and blue
Holding each other as young lovers do
To me they will always remain
Unshamed, untamed, and unblamed
The altar boy and the thief
Grabbing themselves some relief
The altar boy and the thief
Catching a little relief
We ALL are ONE!!
We ALL are connected through MUSIC!!!