Joan Baez

From Academic Kids

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Joan Baez's 1975 bestseller Diamonds & Rust.

Joan Chandos Báez (born January 9, 1941 in Staten Island, New York) is an American folk singer and songwriter, known for her distinctive vocal style as well as her outspoken political views. Her family was Quaker, and her father Albert Baez, a physicist, refused lucrative war industry jobs, probably influencing Joan's political activism in the American and international civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960's to the present.

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Joan Baez in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2003

Baez' professional career began at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival and she recorded her debut album, Joan Baez, the following year on Vanguard Records. The collection of traditional folk ballads, blues and laments sung to her own guitar accompaniment sold moderately well. Her second release, Joan Baez, Vol. 2 in 1961 went gold, as did 1962's Joan Baez in Concert, parts 1 and 2. From the early to mid-1960s, Baez emerged at the forefront of the American roots revival, where she introduced her audiences to the less prominent Bob Dylan (the two became romantically involved in late 1962, remaining together through early 1965), and was emulated by artists such as Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt.

Like Dylan, Baez was profoundly influenced by the British Invasion and began augmenting her acoustic guitar on 1965's Farewell Angelina just after Dylan began experimenting with folk-rock. Later in the decade, Baez experimented with poetry (1968's "Baptism: A Journey Through Our Time) and country music (1969's David's Album and 1970's One Day at a Time).

In 1968, Baez married David Harris, a prominent anti-Vietnam War protester eventually imprisoned for draft evasion. The couple divorced in 1973. Harris, a country music fan, turned Baez toward more complex country rock influences beginning with David's Album. That same year, Baez' appearance at the historic Woodstock music festival in upstate New York afforded her an international musical and political podium, particularly upon the successful release of the like-titled documentary film. Her 1971 cover of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by (The Band) was a top 10 hit in the US.

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Joan Baez with Bob Dylan, September 1963

With 1972's Come from the Shadows, Baez switched to A&M Records, flirting with mainstream pop music as well as writing her own songs for her best-selling 1975 release Diamonds & Rust. She then switched to CBS Records briefly, but found herself without an American label for 1984's Live -Europe '83. She didn't have an American release until 1987's Recently on Gold Castle Records, and then switched to Virgin Records for 1992's Play Me Backwards. Her latest album is 2003's Dark Chords on a Big Guitar.

Baez played a significant role in the 1985 Live Aid concert for African famine relief, opening the US segment of the show in Philadelphia. She also has toured on behalf of many other causes, including Amnesty International.

She has one son, Gabriel Harris, and lives in Woodside, California.

Joan Baez is not to be confused with the mathematician John Baez, her cousin.

Baez toured with Bob Dylan in 1964 and 1965, during his 1975 and 1976 Rolling Thunder Revue tours, and, abortively, in Europe in 1984.

At one time she was romantically linked to Steve Jobs.



  1. "Joan Baez", Vanguard (November 1960)
  2. Joan Baez, Vol. 2, Vanguard (October 1961
  3. Joan Baez in Concert, Vanguard (1962)
  4. Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2, Vanguard (1963)
  5. Joan Baez/5, Vanguard (November 1964)
  6. Farewell Angelina, Vanguard (September 1965)
  7. Noel, Vanguard (December 1966)
  8. Joan, Vanguard (August 1967)
  9. Baptism: A Journey Through Our Time, Vanguard (June 1968)
  10. Any Day Now (Songs of Bob Dylan, Vanguard (December 1968)
  11. David's Album, Vanguard (May 1969)
  12. One Day at a Time, Vanguard (January 1970)
  13. Blessed Are..., Vanguard (1971)
  14. Come from the Shadows, A&M (April 1972)
  15. Where Are You Now, My Son?, A&M (March 1973)
  16. Gracias A la Vida, A&M (July 1974)
  17. Diamonds & Rust, A&M (April 1975)
  18. From Every Stage, A&M (February 1976)
  19. Gulf Winds, A&M (November 1976)
  20. Blowin' Away, CBS (July 1977)
  21. Honest Lullaby, CBS (April 1979)
  22. Live -Europe '83, Gamma (1984)
  23. Recently, Gold Castle (July 1987)
  24. Speaking of Dreams, Gold Castle (November 1989)
  25. Play Me Backwards, Virgin (October 1992)
  26. Ring Them Bells, Guardian (August 1995)
  27. Gone From Danger, Guardian (September 1997)
  28. Dark Chords on a Big Guitar, Koch (October 2003)


  1. The First Ten Years, Vanguard (November 1970)
  2. The Joan Baez Ballad Book, Vanguard (1972)
  3. Hits: Greatest and Others, Vanguard (1973)
  4. The Best of Joan C. Baez, A&M (1977)
  5. Classics, A&M (1986)
  6. Rare, Live & Classic (boxed set), Vanguard (1993)


Baez, Joan. 1988. And a Voice to Sing With: A Memoir. Century Hutchinson, London. ISBN 0-7126-1827-9

External links

de:Joan Baez es:Joan Baez fr:Joan Baez it:Joan Baez nl:Joan Baez


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