Joan Baez (born January 9, 1941 as Joan Chandos Báez) is an American of mixed Mexican and Scottish descent born on Staten Island, New York. A folk singer, songwriter, musician, and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice, Baez rose to prominence in the early ’60s with her stunning renditions of traditional balladry, a distinctive vocal style, with a strong vibrato.
Baez began her career performing in coffeehouses in Boston and Cambridge, and rose to fame as an unbilled performer at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. 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 for two years.
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Baez came into her songwriting own, penning many songs, most notably “Diamonds & Rust,” a nostalgic piece about her ill-fated romance with Bob Dylan and hit covers of Phil Ochs' "There but for Fortune", which became a mid-level chart hit in the U.S. and a top-ten single in the United Kingdom, 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", and "Sweet Sir Galahad", a song about sister Mimi Fariña’s (of Richard & Mimi Fariña fame) second marriage, and continued to meld her songcraft with topical issues.
She was outspoken in her disapproval of the Vietnam War and later the CIA-backed coups in many Latin American countries.
In December 1972, she traveled to Hanoi, North Vietnam, both to address human rights in the region and to deliver Christmas mail to the American prisoners of war and was caught in that country’s “Christmas Campaign,” in which the U.S. bombed the city more times than any other during the entire war. While pregnant with her only son, Gabriel, she performed a handful of songs in the middle of the night on day one of 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. She is considered the “Queen of Folk” for being at the forefront of the 1960s folk revival and inspiring generations of female folksingers that followed.
In 1956, Baez first heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak about nonviolence, civil rights and social change which brought tears to her eyes. Several years later, the two became friends, later marching and demonstrating together on numerous occasions. She was being jailed for her beliefs. In 1963, her performance of “We Shall Overcome” at the Lincoln Memorial just prior to Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream…” speech helped confirm the song as the Civil Rights anthem.
Baez has performed publicly for over 53 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 1960’s, encompassing 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, Bob Dylan, Violeta Parra, Woody Guthrie, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, and many others. In recent years, she has found success interpreting songs of modern songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant.
Buy titles at:evo88.com