Considered to be the most accomplished interpretive folksinger/songwriter of the 1960s, and known for her distinctive vocal style as well as her activism and political views, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music. Among of the first performers to use her popularity to promulgate social protest, she has sung and marched for civil and student rights and peace for the largest part of her life.Since the late 1960s, Baez has devoted her time to the school for nonviolence in that she founded in California and has performed at concerts supporting a variety of humanitarian causes.BeginningsJoan Chandos Baez was born on January 9, 1941, in Staten Island, New York, into a Quaker family of Mexican, English, and Scottish descent. His avoidance of lucrative defense industry jobs, exerted a large influence on Joan’s political activism in American and international civil rights, as well as antiwar movements from the 1960s to the present time.Her family moved frequently, owing to Albert’s work, and lived in many different communities across the United States, as well as France, Switzerland, and Italy.In 1951, when the family spent time in the Middle East, 10-year-old Joan was deeply touched by the poverty and the inhumane treatment that the people in Baghdad suffered. Baez accepted a faculty position at MIT, and moved his family to the Boston area.At that time, Boston was the center of the new folk music scene, and Joan began to perform locally in Boston- and Cambridge-area clubs. After graduating from Palo Alto High School, she attended Boston University. Joan recorded her first album, Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square, while working at Club 47 Mount Auburn, in Cambridge, where she performed twice a week for $20 per show.Taking wingBaez's professional career took off at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. Her first album for a major company, titled Joan Baez, was recorded the following year on Vanguard Records. Her second album, titled Joan Baez, Vol. 2, went gold in 1961, as did Joan Baez in Concert, parts 1 and 2, which were released in 1962 and 1963.From the early- to mid-1960s, Baez emerged as a leader of the American Roots Revival, and she was instrumental in introducing her audiences to a relatively unknown Bob Dylan. Baez and Dylan became romantically involved in late 1962, and remained together through early 1965.It was during that period, as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights struggle in America became prominent issues, that Baez focused more of her attention on both areas.Eventually, Baez's music and her political involvement became one and the same. Her performance of "We Shall Overcome" at Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, caused the anthem to be permanently linked to her, and she was frequently seen at the front in civil rights marches. In 1965, she founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence.The Beatles, et al.Baez was profoundly influenced by the British Invasion, and began to use more of her acoustic guitar on her 1965 album, Farewell Angelina. In the late 1960s, Baez experimented with poetry, writing the album Baptism: A Journey Through Our Time in 1969, the country music David's Album also in 1969, and One Day at a Time, released in 1970.Baez married David Harris, a prominent anti-Vietnam War protester in 1968. Harris was a country-music fan and introduced Baez to a complex country rock influence that was evident in David's Album.In 1969, Baez appeared at the historic Woodstock music festival in upstate New York, which gave her an international musical and political podium, particularly upon the successful release of the like-titled documentary film. In 1971, her cover of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band, made the top 10 on the charts in the United States.
Much of the singer's time in the early 1970s was spent helping to establish a U.S. branch of Amnesty International. Baez worked tirelessly to improve human rights, both in Latin America and Southeast Asia.During Christmas 1972, Baez joined a peace delegation that traveled to North Vietnam to address human rights problems in the region, and deliver Christmas mail to American POWs. The singer's outrage at the human rights violations of communist Vietnam made her increasingly critical of its government.On May 30, 1979, Baez organized the publication of a full-page advertisement, published in four major U.S. newspapers, in which the communists were described as having created a nightmare. That ultimately led Baez to found her own human rights group, Humanitas International, whose focus was to target oppression in all walks of life, and criticize right- and left-wing regimes equally.In 1981, she toured Chile, Brazil and Argentina, but was prevented from performing in any of those countries, for fear that her criticism of their human rights practices would reach mass audiences.In 1985, Baez played a significant role in the Live Aid concert for African famine relief by opening the U.S. segment of the show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also has had the honor of touring on behalf of numerous other causes, such as Amnesty International's 1986 A Conspiracy of Hope Tour and a guest spot on their Human Rights Now! Tour.Baez continued to perform and record throughout the 1980s and '90s, releasing several albums. In August 2005, she appeared at the Texas antiwar protest initiated by Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier slain in Iraq. In September of that year, she sang "Amazing Grace" at the Temple in Black Rock City during the annual Burning Man festival, as part of a tribute to New Orleans and the victims of Hurricane Katrina.Baez continues to spend her time promoting peace though her music, words, and actions.
Robert Cowart - 8/5/2010
Fonda claimed to be a "peace activist" but was, in fact, a pro-North Vietnam activist. "Peace activists" don't sit on war machinery and laugh and sing songs. She is a hypocrite and liar. All the backpedaling in the world won't undo her actions. She wanted to impress the left with her actions. I agree with you about Joan Baez. At least she was honest and consistent with her views and actions.
David Timothy Beito - 5/1/2005
Thanks, I'll forward it to Don. The email was not very specific on details.
Richard Rongstad - 5/1/2005
What Don Kates has passed on looks exactly like what Dana Drenkowski wrote to some of his correspondents. Drenkowski wrote that he was a B-52 pilot for his first tour of duty in Vietnam and was piloting an F-4 in the skies over Vietnam during his second tour, the same time frame that Jane Fonda was singing songs with and giggling with her one big happy family, the communist AA gun crew, so Dana should take it personally.
Kenneth R Gregg - 4/24/2005
Baez was also sympathetic to many of us in the antiwar libertarian camp as well. She never seemed to have been much concerned about economic issues, viz., capitalism vs. socialism, as much in violent actions. I know that there were libertarians who had spoken to her about libertarianism who came away pleased with her.
She was consistently nonviolent and, as far as I know, has remained so.
Just a thought.
David Timothy Beito - 4/24/2005
As someone who remembers the Vietnam War (and supported it to nearly the bitter end!), my memory is that Baez was disliked but never in the same way as Fonda (even before her Hanoi trip). Partly it was a matter of style. Baez came across as quietly earnest and polite representative of a long and thoughtful antiwar tradition (her husband spent time in jail for resisting the draft) while Fonda always had the appearence of a shrill ambulance chasing grandstander, more image than substance.
Max Swing - 4/24/2005
There were even Vietnam Veterans who tried to spread untruth about Mr. Kerry and his part in the Vietnam war. I think that this is common to all sort of people. They tend to ignore distinctions or even try to forward their own personal cause without attention to facts.
Roderick T. Long - 4/22/2005
When Joan Baez came to Chapel Hill I remember that some local Republican veterans were trying to organize a protest against her because of her stand on the Vietnam war, so I guess not everyone grasped the distinction.
David Timothy Beito - 4/22/2005
It might be because in that case Fonda defended the Communist government as "progressive" and dimissed the plight of the boat people. I never particularly thought much of Fonda and/or her dubious choice of husbands.
Jason Pappas - 4/22/2005
I remember how Baez was condemned by others on the Left when she voiced concern for the “Boat People” as they escaped Vietnam after the communist victory. Why is it that she stands out in my mind as the exception?
Fifty Years of Joan Baez
In the summer of 1958, Joan Chandos Baez, a 17-year old high school graduate (by the skin of her teeth) moved with her family — her parents Albert and Joan, older sister Pauline and younger sister Mimi — from Palo Alto to Boston. They drove cross-country with the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” all over the radio, a guilty pleasure of Joan’s. That fall she entered Boston University School Of Drama where she was surrounded by a musical group of friends who shared a passion for folk music.
A stunning soprano, Joan’s natural vibrato lent a taut, nervous tension to everything she sang. Yet even as an 18-year old, introduced onstage at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, her repertoire reflected a different sensibility from her peers. In the traditional songs she mastered, there was an acknowledgment of the human condition.
She recorded her first solo LP for Vanguard Records in the summer of 1960, the beginning of a prolific 14-album, 12-year association with the label. Her earliest records, with their mix of traditional ballads, blues, lullabies, Carter Family, Weavers and Woody Guthrie songs, cowboy tunes, ethnic folk staples of American and non-American vintage, and much more—won strong followings in the U.S. and abroad.
Among the songs she introduced on her earliest albums that would find their ways into the repertoire of 60’s rock stalwarts were “House Of the Rising Sun” (the Animals), “John Riley” (the Byrds), “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin), “What Have They Done To the Rain” (the Searchers), “Jackaroe” (Grateful Dead), and “Long Black Veil” (the Band), to name a few. “Geordie,” “House Carpenter” and “Matty Groves” inspired a multitude of British acts who trace their origins to Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span.
In 1963, Joan began touring with Bob Dylan and recording his songs, a bond that came to symbolize the folk music movement for the next two years. At the same time, Joan began her lifelong role of introducing songs from a host of contemporary singer-songwriters starting with Phil Ochs, Richard Fariña, Leonard Cohen, Tim Hardin, Paul Simon, and others. Her repertoire grew to include songs by Jacques Brel, Lennon-McCartney, Johnny Cash and his Nashville peers, and South American composers Nascimento, Bonfa, Villa-Lobos, and others.
At a time in our country’s history when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times, and her life’s work was mirrored in her music. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963. In 1964, she withheld 60% of her income tax from the IRS to protest military spending and participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley. A year later she co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. In 1966, Joan Baez stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages and opposed capital punishment at San Quentin during a Christmas vigil. The following year she turned her attention to the draft resistance movement. In 1968, she recorded an album of country standards for her then-husband David Harris. He was later taken into custody by Federal marshals in July 1969 and imprisoned for 20 months for refusing induction and organizing draft resistance against the Vietnam war. As the war escalated, Joan traveled to Hanoi with the U.S.-based Liaison Committee and helped establish Amnesty International on the West Coast.
In the wake of the Beatles, the definition of folk music—a singer with an acoustic guitar—broadened and liberated many artists. Rather than following the pack into amplified folk-rock, Joan recorded three remarkable LPs with classical instrumentation. Later, as the 60’s turned into the 70’s, she began recording in Nashville. The “A-Team” of Nashville’s session musicians backed Joan on her last four LPs for Vanguard Records (including her biggest career single, a cover of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” in 1971) and her first two releases on A&M.
Within the context of those albums and the approaching end of hostilities in Southeast Asia, Joan turned to the suffering of those living in Chile under the rule of Augusto Pinochet. To those people she dedicated her first album sung entirely in Spanish, a record that inspired Linda Ronstadt, later in the 80’s, to begin recording the Spanish songs of her heritage. One of the songs Joan sang on that album, “No Nos Moveran” (We Shall Not Be Moved) had been banned from public singing in Spain for more than 40 years under Generalissimo Franco’s rule and was excised from copies of the LP sold there. Joan became the first major artist to sing the song publicly when she performed it on a controversial television appearance in Madrid in 1977, three years after the dictator’s death.
In 1975, Joan’s self-penned “Diamonds & Rust” became the title song of an LP with songs by Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, John Prine, Stevie Wonder & Syreeta, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band—and Bob Dylan. His Rolling Thunder Revues of late 75 and 76 (and resulting movie Renaldo & Clara, released in 1978) co-starred Joan Baez.
In 1978, she traveled to Northern Ireland and marched with the Irish Peace People, calling for an end to violence. She appeared at rallies on behalf of the nuclear freeze movement and performed at benefit concerts to defeat California’s Proposition 6 (Briggs Initiative), legislation that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools. Joan received the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Award for her commitment to human and civil rights issues and founded Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, which she headed for 13 years. She won the San Francisco Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) award as top female vocalist in 1978 and 1979. A number of film, video and live recordings released in Europe and the U.S. documented her travels and concerts into the ’80s.
In 1983, she performed on the Grammy awards telecast for the first time (singing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind”). In the summer of 1985, after opening the U.S. segment of the worldwide Live Aid telecast, she later appeared at the revived Newport Folk Festival, the first gathering there since 1969. In 1986, Joan joined Peter Gabriel, Sting and others on Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour her subsequent album was influenced by the tour, as it acknowledged artists and groups whose lives in turn were influenced by her, with songs from Gabriel, U2, Dire Straits, Johnny Clegg, and others. Later in 1986, however, she was chosen to perform The People’s Summit concert in Iceland at the time of the historic meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Joan’s 1989 concert in Czechoslovakia was attended by many of that country’s dissidents including President Vaclav Havel who cited her as a great influence in the so-called Velvet Revolution.
After attending an early Indigo Girls concert in 1990 (the year after their major label album debut), Joan teamed with the duo and Mary Chapin Carpenter (as Four Voices) for a series of benefit performances. The experience reinforced Joan’s belief in the new generation of songwriters’ ability to speak to her. When her album, Play Me Backwards, was released in 1992, it featured songs by Carpenter, John Hiatt, John Stewart, and others.
In 1993, Joan became the first major artist to perform in Sarajevo since the outbreak of the civil war as she traveled to war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina at the invitation of Refugees International. The next year, she sang in honor of Pete Seeger at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington, D.C. Also in 1994, Joan and Janis Ian sang for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Fight the Right fundraising event in San Francisco.
In 1995, Joan received her third BAMMY as Outstanding Female Vocalist. Joan’s nurturing support of other singer-songwriters came full circle with her next album, Ring Them Bells. This idea of collaborative mentoring was expanded on 1997’s Gone From Danger, where Joan was revealed as a lightning rod for young songwriting talent, with compositions from Dar Williams, Sinead Lohan, Kerrville Music Festival newcomer Betty Elders, Austin’s The Borrowers, and Richard Shindell (who went on to tour extensively with Joan over the years).
In August 2001, Vanguard Records began the most extensive chronological CD reissue program ever devoted to one artist in the company’s history. Expanded editions (with bonus tracks and newly commissioned liner notes) were released of her debut solo album of 1960, Joan Baez, and Joan Baez Vol. 2 (1961). The six-year campaign went on to encompass every original LP she recorded while under contract to the label from 1960 to 1972. In 2003, spurred by Vanguard’s lead, Universal Music Enterprises gathered Joan’s six complete A&M albums released from 1972 to 1976 into a mini-boxed set of four CDs with bonus material and extensive liner notes.
The release of Dark Chords On a Big Guitar in September 2003 was supported with a 22-city U.S. tour. On October 3, Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin presented her debut performance of The Joan Baez Suite, Opus 144. Written for Isbin by John Duarte and commissioned by the Augustine Foundation, the piece featured songs from Joan’s earliest days in folk music.
On the night of February 11, 2007, at the 49th annual Grammy Awards telecast viewed by more than a billion people worldwide, it was announced that Joan Baez had received the highly prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, the greatest honor that the Recording Academy can bestow. In turn, she introduced the live performance of “Not Ready To Make Nice” by dark horse nominees the Dixie Chicks. It was an ironic moment, as Joan’s “lifetime” of activism resonated in sync with the trio. They had been blacklisted by country radio and the Academy Of Country Music (ACM) when they criticized the president and the impending war in Iraq back in March 2003.
On Saturday, June 28, 2008, Joan was seen by countless TV viewers worldwide at the 46664 event in London’s Hyde Park, celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. After appearing with Johnny Clegg and the Soweto Gospel Choir singing “Asimbonanga,” Joan later stood center stage behind Mandela when he addressed the assembled crowd of 46,664 people. The event coincided with the annual Glastonbury Music Festival that same weekend, where Joan was also performing.
Most recently, on September 4th, in advance of Day After Tomorrow’s release, Joan launches the new 2008-2009 lecture season at New York City’s 92nd Street Y (where she made her official NY concert debut in 1960). The event will be an in-depth conversation with Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis at the 900-seat Kaufmann Concert Hall.
Later, on September 18th, Joan receives the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award at the Americana Music Association’s 7th annual awards show in Nashville. The honor “recognizes and celebrates artists who have ignited discussion and challenged the status quo through their music and actions.” Past recipients include Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins, Mavis Staples and Steve Earle, who presents the award to Joan.
“All of us are survivors,” Joan Baez wrote, “but how many of us transcend survival?” 50 years on, she continues to show renewed vitality and passion in her concerts and records, and is more comfortable than ever inside her own skin. In this troubled world, to paraphrase “Wings,” she will always continue to seek “a place where they can hear me when I sing.”
Joan Baez gets her apology
It took 44 years, but Joan Baez finally got a public apology from Bob Dylan for the callous way he treated her when he broke up their 1960s love affair.
And it happened, of all places, at Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square on Friday night.
"I feel very bad about it," Dylan said. "I was sorry to see our relationship end."
The occasion, and the source of the confession, was the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival of Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, a PBS documentary set for broadcast next month. It was followed by a free mini-concert performance by Baez herself.
The astonishingly candid film pulls back the curtain on a painful chapter of Baez's life that she had long avoided talking about: her split from Dylan in the spring of 1965, during a British tour where he treated her as excess baggage, refusing to allow her onstage with him.
Before that, the two had been inseparable as the king and queen of folk music, and one of the most talked-about young couples of the decade.
Already a global star, Baez launched Dylan's career after their first meeting in 1961 by inviting him to share her stage and tour with her at every opportunity, often scolding her fans who found his nasal singing a poor complement to her soaring soprano tones.
She has long been coy about their relationship, referring to him as her "special friend." Dylan has also avoided the topic. He barely mentioned her in his recent autobiography and made only a cryptic comment in the 2005 Martin Scorsese doc No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.
But honesty and full disclosure is the watchword of Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, directed by Mary Wharton. The film includes numerous new interviews with the men in Baez's life, interspersed with archival concert footage and newsreel images of her 51-year career as a performer, pacifist and social activist.
The normally reticent Dylan refers to Baez as "Joanie" throughout the film, and generously heaps praise upon her abilities and her commitment to social causes, which included marching for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and going to jail for her anti-Vietnam draft protests.
Apologizing for dumping her during that infamous 1965 British road trip (all caught on camera in D.A. Pennebaker's classic documentary Don't Look Back), Dylan says he did it to keep Baez from getting "swept up in the madness my career had become."
For her part, Baez admits in the film just how much she loved Dylan: "I was crazy about him. We were an item and we were having a wonderful time."
But she acknowledges she might have pushed him away, by trying too hard to have him join her in the many social causes she pursued: "I was trying to shove him into a mold."
Backstage before the screening, a radiant Baez, looking at least a generation younger than her 68 years, told the Star she was surprised at some of the revelations in the film.
"I'm just surprised at what they were thinking then. David Crosby thought of me as an older woman!" (The two are the same age.)
Despite the confessional tone of the film, she's still uncomfortable talking about Dylan. She demurred when asked about the half-dozen or so Dylan songs believed to be about her, in particular "Visions of Johanna," a song of intense longing written after the couple split, which many fans consider his finest song.
She's happier now than she ever has been, and said making the film made her realize how much she and her civil rights brethren had accomplished.
"None of us celebrated much when the war in Vietnam ended. We didn't appreciate ourselves enough or we thought it took too long to end the war. But you know, seeing this film, when I finally see it, sometimes in it I think, oh, gee, I did that."
Her post-screening concert set concluded with Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," in which she amused the crowd by singing part of it mimicking Dylan's voice.
The tune includes the line, "You could have done better, but I don't mind." Hearing Baez sing it on Friday night, it took on a whole new poignancy.
Joan Baez was born on the 9th of January 1941 in Staten Island, New York. Her birth name is Joan Chandos Baez.
Her father, Lt. Albert Baez is a physicist and mother, Lt. Hoan Chandos Baez was descended of Dukes of Chandos. Albert was one of the co-inventor of the X-ray Microscope.
She has two sisters, Lt. Pauline Marden and Lt. Mimi Farina. Both of them were singers and activists. They were of Scottish-Mexican ethnicity.
While growing up, she faced various discriminations due to her Mexican heritage. Due to this reason, she was involved in social causes as an activist.
Talking about educational background, in 1958, she graduated from Palo Alto High School. After that, she joined the Boston University. However, she attended the University for six weeks only.
116: Bisexual Visibility: Joan Baez
Our episode today will first air on Bisexual Visibility Day so we want to wish all of our favorite bisexuals a proud, and happy day of visibility. And in honor of both Latin history month and Bixsexual Visibility we have invited Vima Manfredo, our favorite, bisexual Latina, to join us today. We also have David Rivera, Paul’s fiance! Before we get to the story of the incredible Joan Baez, we are going to have a brief discussion around the usage of the term Latinx.
An ongoing discussion around the growing popularity of the term Latinx has created division in Latin/Hispanic communities in the last few years. With a current viral facebook post by user James Lee furthering the contention. A summary of his points are as follows:
The goal of the X in Latinx is to remove gender, ie not LatinO or LatinA. But it presents problems when you are speaking Spanish because it is an English idea. Luckily, the Spanish language already has a gender neutral letter. The letter E.
…The letter E can be exchanged for any gendered word ending in an A or O in the Spanish language and it works wonderfully. Latine works.
In my experience, Latinx took off like a rocket over the last few years, in no small part because of the political class, which we know is largely white-led. But it doesn’t accomplish what Latine does.
Latinx was easy to understand and popular because of its association with LGBTQ equality, but it doesn’t really focus on Latino and Hispanic culture the way the gender neutral term Latine does.
Latinx has been used and accepted widely by non-Latino/Hispanic communities in an effort to be inclusive. I appreciate it, but it’s felt like something more so used by outsiders. On the other hand, Latine has been adopted and used more widely in Spanish speaking countries
…If we give preference to Latinx simply because it caught on faster than Latine, we ignore the conflicts it has with the Spanish language, we lose the potential for it’s true intentions, and we leave behind the people in our community who can’t speak English.
And even though Lee stated that the term Latinx had taken off in the U.S., he gave the usage more credit than it has earned. The Washington Post released a poll in August of this year that showed less than 23% of Latin Americans have ever even heard of the term Latinx let alone used it as an identifier. And even though 42% of millennials polled had heard the term, it still is not the dominant preference. Mark Hugo Lopez, a director at Pew Research, explained the demographic of those most likely to use Latinx. “Younger people, college-educated Hispanics and notably young Hispanic women were the ones most likely to say that they used the term ‘Latinx’ themselves to describe their identity,”. Whatever the outcome of this debate over the next few months or years, it is important for white and non-latin queer people to listen to the communities and not necessarily the organizations that coin these terms. We must keep the best interests of our people as a whole above the interests of entities and businesses.
And speaking of those who fought for the people above corporate and government issues, today we cover the notorious Joan Baez. Baez was a singer and activist who famously came out as bisexual in a 1972 interview. Born on Staten Island in 1941, Joan Chandos Baez was the daughter of two immigrants. Her father, Albert Baez, was born in Mexico yet he spent most of his life in America. While her mother, Joan Chandos, had immigrated from Edinburgh, Scotland. It is possible that Joan’s parents bonded over the fact that they were both PK’s (preacher kids). Chando’s father was an Anglican minister and Baez father was a methodist preacher who served and advocated for the spanish speaking communities of New York. The religious ties didnt’ stick for the young couple who converted to Quakerism when Joan was a a child. However, the roots of activism ran deep in the Baez family.
Growing up as a Latina in New York during the 40s and 50s was hard on Joan who faced daily discrimination. She was only 2 years old when the Zoot Suit Riots had erupted in Los Angeles in 1943. Zoot Suits were wide-legged, tight cuffed pants covered by a long coat with wide lapels. It was a popular style in Afro and Latin-American communities wich sparked the racist rumors that Zoot Suitors were murderous and untrustworthy. The harassment over the outfits finally lead to a 6 day riot that included white American soldiers running through the streets, beating men, teens and children in Zoot Suits and stripping them of their clothing. The unrest sparked other riots specifically against Latin-Americans in at least 6 other cities that summer of 43.
Even after nearly 500,000 Hispanic Americans served in World War II, the discrimination and harassment did not end. Nationalism that had fostered during the war shown through strongly in the following years. Segregation and Jim Crow ruled the day and included more than just Black Americans. Mexicans, along with others of Latin descent, were segregated and barred from schools, businesses, and various organizations. The same redlining that kept Blacks from living in particular neighborhoods also kept Latin-Americans out of the same areas. And the social injustice was all in addition sanctioned government oppression. The late 1950’s Supreme Court ruling of Hernandez vs Texas granted equal protections to Mexican American’s as well as other non-white groups. This case originated after Pete Hernandez was convicted of murder by an all white jury in 1954 in a county that had not seen a person of color in the jury box in 25 years. But even as change gained momentum, the battle was only beginning.
Before she found activism though Joan Baez found music. Her first instrument was a ukulele and her fist concert at age 13 sealed her passion for music. Even though her parents believed that pursuing this career would lead to a life of drugs and debauchery, by age 18 Joan was playing in bars and clubs up and down New England. At age 19 she landed her first record deal and long before the world knew the superstar Madonna, the nickname was given to Joan Baez. Who was often referred to as “The Barefoot Madonna”, “Earth’s Mother” and simply, “Madonna”. Baez spoke about her nickname and the struggle of early success decades later:
It was complicated by the image given to me: zap, you’re the Virgin Mary, the Madonna. I thought that was a terrific idea. In fact, I was sure I was, and I felt very benign and wonderful. Because up until then–I was eighteen–the only image I had of myself was of a dumb Mexican. I’d come from a place where Mexicans were called dumb peach-pickers. So I already had a big identity problem. I was just sorting things out, and all of a sudden somebody said, “Bingo, you’re the Madonna with the achingly pure soprano.” Well, who isn’t gonna opt for that, if those are your choices?
Over the next decade Joan would rise to national fame through the release of 14 records, her feature in the documentary Woodstock , and her first memoir, Daybreak. Most have considered Joan the most prolific folk singer of teh 1960’s with 13 of her first 14 albums landing on Billboard’s Top 100 list. Yet the glitz and the glam were tainted. Early in her career Joan recognized the hypocrisy of racism when she would be asked, as a Latina, to sing in a bar that only allowed whites. At a young age she took a stance to turn down any venue that was segregated but her activism went even further. Joan had heard Martin Luther King Jr. speak and was moved to tears by his words. A few years later they would meet and become personal friends. In 1963, Baez performed the song “ We Shall Overcome” during the defining March on Washington (when MLK gave his “ I Have a Dream” speek).
Two years later she joined her friend Dr. King in Selma to march for voting rights. Though her musical career was smashing one success after another, Joan’s devotion to resistance and civil unrest slowly took precedence. In 1964, at 23, she co-founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence which later morphed into the Resource Center for Nonviolence . Baez called for draft and tax resistance at her concerts. She was arrested twice for blocking recruitment centers and spent more than 30 days in jail at time. Her outspoken critique of the Vietnam War caused the FBI to scrutinize and harass her and they even launched a smear campaign that claimed Baez and King were having an affair.
By the 1970’s the girl nicknamed the Madonna had quite grown up. She was becoming disillusioned with the music industry, particularly those who sung about activism but never had the courage to go to the front lines. Those such as her own flame Bob Dylan. The two had a long and tumultuous relationship that spanned decades but seemed mostly connected by their love of music. It was David Harris who captured Joans activist heart. Harris and Baez had both been arrested while protesting Army recruitment. After their releas they moved onto an anti-draft commune and in 1968 the couple was married. Just one year later Joan was pregnant and David was arrested for resisting the draft. He spent 15 months in prison while Joan delivered their baby boy Gabriel. Yet though they bonded over their activism, the couple eventually divorced in 1973.
Only a few months before her divorce was finalized Joan had spent Christmas being bombed by American troops. The Christmas Bombing of Hanoi, North Vietnam happened while Joan was there trying to visit American prisoners or war. The 11 day bombing only strengthened her resolve against the Vietnam war, though Baez did take aim at Vietnam’s human rights violations. Her work on world wide human rights issues continued to expand in the 70’s when she launched her own human rights group, Humanitas International. This work became her main focus in the ensuing decades, though she continued to release several more records thought various labels after ending her 11 year contract with Vanguard Records in 1971. Over the next 20 years Joan would tour the world searching to help those in need while periodically hosting a concert or releasing an album.
Her fight for the LGBTQ+ marched alongside her fight for all human rights. In 1978 she hosted benefits to raise awareness and funding to fight the Briggs Initiative. A California bill aimed at preventing LGB people from workign in public schools. That same year Baez took part in protests over the assassination of gay politician Harvey Milk. She also took part in the 1985 Live Aid event that raised funds and awareness about the AIDS crisis. Though her sexual orientation has often been overshadowed by her music and civil rights activism, Joan first identified as a bisexual more than 45 years ago. Someone asked her once if Baez coming out explained her strong lesbian fanbase to which Joan commented. “ Is that what it is? But they were there before that, too. ”
Throughout the years Joan continued to remain an icon of her time though she faded from the spotlight. However her activism never slowed down. Over the last few decades Joan has traveled from China to Argentina and more to fight for humanitarian rights. At age 79, she continues to stand for justice and truth calling out the issues of the day. As late as 2011 she was still performing for political protest concerts when she performed at Occupy Wall Street. And as recently as 2019 she’s been classified as a rebel for championing the Catalan Independence Movement in Spain. For more than 60 years, Joan Baez has continued to put the people first and serve as an icon for Latin-American and LGBTQ+ folk everywhere.
Your recommended resources are Daybreak by Joan Baez which catalogs the first decade of her activism. Or check out some of her music on Spotify such as the album Diamonds and Rust or the album Gracias A La Vida. There is also a documentary called Joan Baez on YouTube that we have linked on our script.
Joan Baez’s list of ex-lovers is better than yours
You can say this of Joan Baez: She’s popped up, Zelig-like, everywhere with everyone — from the Village with Bob Dylan and Mississippi with Martin Luther King Jr. to Palo Alto with Steve Jobs.
And now she’s coming back to New York. Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and others will join her at the Beacon Theatre Jan. 27 for her 75th-birthday concert.
Granted, Baez says, she feels some 20 years younger. “Your body betrays you, that’s for sure,” she tells The Post. “But the spirit, in my case anyway, stays young.”
It helps, she says with a laugh, “that I never did the drugs everyone thought I did,” though photos show her with Jimi Hendrix with what looks like a bong. And if Baez is like her mother — who lived till a week past her 100th birthday — she’s still only three-quarters of the way through.
It was her mom who started her on a life of activism and song, simply by bringing home a Harry Belafonte album. “We sat and just looked at the cover for a week, he was so handsome!” says Baez, who was born on Staten Island but swiftly whisked off to California. After her aunt took her to a Pete Seeger concert, she says, “the whole journey began.”
Years later, Baez would sing with Seeger, a folkie who “stayed in his vernacular,” right down to building his own digs. “I put in this floor and a compost toilet, and it doesn’t even stink,” she recalls him saying of his Beacon, NY, home, as his grandson piped up: “Grandpa, it stinks!”
But those other partnerships pale beside the one she had, musically and romantically, with Dylan. Asked if she and her former lover have kept in touch, she laughs.
“I haven’t seen him for decades,” she says. “I don’t expect anything of him, so I don’t worry about it. He gave us the greatest gift in the ’60s — an arsenal of music to just listen to and enjoy, or take into battle. That’s way more than you can ask.”
Joan Baez and Bob Dylan toured together in his Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975. Ken Regan/Camera 5/Contour by Getty Images
Dylan also inspired what Baez calls “the only really first-class song I ever wrote” — 1975’s “Diamonds & Rust”:
“And here I sit/Hand on the telephone
“Hearing a voice I’d known/A couple of light years ago
“Heading straight for a fall …”
She wasn’t the only one to fall under Dylan’s spell — Steve Jobs was also in awe of the man Baez called “the original vagabond.” He and Baez met in Palo Alto in 1982, when Jobs was 27 and she was a divorced 41-year-old mother of one, from her five-year marriage to war resister David Harris.
Jobs described their relationship as that of “two accidental friends who became lovers.”
Baez claims it was a case of opposites attracting.
“He was always very nice to me,” she says, “[but] we didn’t agree on anything. He’d say, ‘I’m going to make a computer that won’t just duplicate a Beethoven sonata — it will be better!’
“And I’d say, ‘Excuse me? What about the soul? Where’s the soul in it?’ He’d say, ‘It’ll just be better,’ and I’d be dumbfounded . . . and then we’d grab dinner.” That was usually Indian food, she says, though later, even food was a struggle.
“[Jobs] kind of turned into a fruit-arian,” she recalls. “He wanted the woman who cooked for me to work for him, but he’d quit eating anything but nuts and grains,” so Baez’s cook stayed put.
Steve Jobs in 1991 Ben Margot/AP
But she’d rather not say anything more about him — or, for that matter, about coming out as bisexual in 1973, long before doing so was fashionable (“I never did anything fashionable”).
These days, she lives in Northern California with her rescue dog, a “wonderful” one-eyed bouvier des Flandres. She says she’s stopped writing songs — instead, she paints portraits. For this concert, she’s asked all the performers to send her their favorite photos of themselves for her to work from.
So far she’s painted David Crosby and Richard Thompson, and “I just got out two canvases and started throwing paint on them. They’re going to end up being Jackson Browne and Emmylou [Harris]!”
Even her voice has changed — perhaps, she muses, for the better.
“I was going to quit singing a few years back, because it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to listen to,” says Baez, who calls her original, silvery soprano “a gift” that was hard to relinquish.
After working with a voice therapist, she found she could sing again, albeit with a difference.
“In the beginning, it was one long high note,” she says. “Now it’s deep … But it’s a good voice. In a way, it’s much more interesting now.
From Boston coffeehouses to Newport,
Baez briefly attended Boston University, where she made friends with several semi-professional folk singers from whom she learned much about the art. In addition to simple folk songs, she began to sing Anglo American ballads, blues, spirituals, and songs from various countries. As she worked to develop her technique and range of songs, Baez began to perform professionally in Boston coffeehouses and quickly became a favorite of Harvard University students. She was also noticed by other folk singers, including Harry Belafonte (1927–), who offered her a job with his singing group.
In the summer of 1959 Baez was invited to sing at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. This performance made her a star𠅎specially to young people𠅊nd led to friendships with other important folk singers such as the Seeger family and Odetta. Although the performance brought her offers to make recordings and concert tours, she decided to resume her Boston coffee shop appearances.
After Baez's second Newport appearance in 1960, she made her first album for Vanguard Records. Simply labeled Joan Baez, it was an immediate success. She was then such a "hot item" that she could choose her own songs and prop designs for her performances. In the following years Baez sang to capacity crowds on American college campuses and concert halls and on several foreign tours. Her eight gold albums and one gold single demonstrated her popularity as a singer.
Joan Baez Turns 80 And Shows Off Her Masterful Paintings in Second Solo Art Exhibit
Singer-songwriter activist Joan Baez turns 80 years-old today—and you can join her for a live streaming event tonight that celebrates a new phase in her life.
Black Is the Color (acrylic self portrait) – Diamonds and Rust Productions, photo by Marina Chavez
After retiring from live performing in 2019, the musician whose 1975 hit, Diamonds & Rust, was written about former lover, Bob Dylan, has turned to painting full-time.
Her new solo art exhibit features portraits of “people making the world a better place.” Mischief Makers 2 is a follow-up to her first show that showcased portraits of people who changed the world through non-violence, like Malala Yousafzai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ram Dass, John Lewis, and Martin Luther King, Jr—a friend with whom she marched arm-in-arm.
Diamonds and Rust Productions will present the live-streamed 80th birthday celebration online. The event will introduce her new show of portraits with a live interview with Baez, a virtual tour of the show, and other festivities and “mischief” to mark the milestone occasion.
Subjects in her new show include personal heroes and famous friends from the worlds of politics, literature, music, and more, including Nelson Mandela, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Kamala Harris, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Baez also includes a self-portrait in acrylic, titled “Black Is the Color.”
John Lewis by Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust Productions
“I hope this new collection of portraits inspires you,” Baez says in her artist statement. “Maybe it will encourage you to go out and, in the words of the late Congressman John Lewis, ‘make good trouble.’”
The Glorious Notorious RBG, 2018 (acrylic) – Joan Baez
During the lockdowns of 2020, she also started performing music from her gorgeous kitchen, and posting the songs on YouTube. Check out her performance of Dylan’s Forever Young dedicated to all the Heroes of the 2020 pandemic…
Here’s the link to check out more artwork at JoanBaez.com and find out how to support the artist.
SHARE Her 80th Birthday and New Artwork With Your Friends on Social Media…
Joan Baez - History
Eighteen months after the conclusion of Joan Baez's "Fare Thee Well" tour, she looks forward to the celebration of her 80th birthday in January 2021. Five years earlier, her 75th birthday was celebrated at New York’s Beacon Theater, where she was joined by Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and more than a dozen other artists. The concert premiered on the PBS Great Performances series and was issued on DVD and CD.
The intervening years have been a historic ride, beginning with Joan’s April 2017 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Shortly after the event, she announced that in 2018, she would begin her last formal tour. The “Fare Thee Well” tour began in March 2018 in Stockholm, and concluded in Madrid in July 2019, after 134 sold out performances across the US and Europe.
Meanwhile, the first solo exhibi¬tion of Joan’s series of “Mischief Makers” paintings was presented in Mill Valley, California – portraits of risk-taking visionaries who have brought about social change through nonviolent action, ranging from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bob Dylan, to Maya Angelou, John Lewis, and the Dalai Lama. “Mischief Makers 2,” including portraits of Patti Smith, Michael Moore and Dr. Anthony Fauci, opens at the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley on January 6, 2021.
As the “Fare Thee Well” tour began, Joan released her first new studio album in a decade, Whistle Down The Wind. Produced by Joe Henry, the album gathered songs by some of Joan’s favorite writers, from Tom Waits and Mary Chapin Carpenter, to Eliza Gilkyson and Josh Ritter. The Grammy®-nominated album prompted Rolling Stone to proclaim, “The takeaway from Joan Baez’s latest is how essential her work remains.”
Whistle Down The Wind succeeded 2008’s critically acclaimed, Grammy®-nominated Day After Tomorrow, produced by Steve Earle. That release coincided with the 50th anniver¬sa¬ry of Joan’s arrival on the coffee house scene that first emerged around Club 47 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Day After Tomorrow and Whistle Down The Wind both under¬scored Joan’s long history of mutual mentoring, introducing songs by artists and songwriters, known and unknown, a hallmark of her recordings and performances ever since the early 1960s.
Early on, she focused awareness on songwriters ranging from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Richard Fariña, Leonard Cohen, and Tim Hardin, among others. Her repertoire grew to include songs by Jacques Brel, Lennon-McCartney, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash and his Nashville peers including Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Newbury, South American composer Violeta Para and more. Songwriters whose work was recorded or performed by Joan grew to encompass Jackson Browne, Janis Ian, John Prine, Stevie Wonder, Steve Earle, Tom Waits, and many others, including songs written by Joan herself.
Many traditional songs that Joan presented on her earliest LPs found their way into the rock vernacular: “House Of the Rising Sun” (the Animals), “John Riley” (the Byrds), “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin), “What Have They Done To the Rain” (the Searchers), “Jackaroe” (Grateful Dead), and “Long Black Veil” (the Band), to name a few. A multitude of British artists who trace their origins to Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span were inspired by Joan’s versions of “Geordie,” “House Carpenter,” and “Matty Groves.”
From the beginning, the life’s work of Joan Baez was mirrored in her music. At a point when it was neither safe nor fashionable, she put herself on the line, singing about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Dr. King’s March on Washington in 1963. She participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley, and co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. She stood in fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages, and opposed capital punishment during a Christmas vigil at San Quentin.
The soundtrack for the turbulent ’60s is heard on Joan’s remarkably timeless Vanguard LPs. In 1968, she began a four-year recording stint in Nashville, with Music City’s famed “A-Team” backing her biggest career single, a cover of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (1971). During this time, Joan traveled to Hanoi, and later helped establish Amnesty International on the West Coast. In 1975, her self-penned “Diamonds & Rust” began its course as a beloved (and frequently covered) American standard. Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tours of late 1975 and ’76 (and resulting film, Renaldo & Clara, 1978) co-starred Joan Baez.
Joan Baez has long been a musical and social force of nature of incalculable influence. She marched in Northern Ireland with the Irish Peace People in 1978, appeared at rallies on behalf of the nuclear freeze movement, and performed at benefit concerts to defeat California legisla-tion that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools.
She received the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Award for her commitment to human and civil rights issues and founded the Humanitas International Human Rights Commit¬¬tee, which she headed for 13 years. She dedicated her first entirely Spanish album to Chileanos who suffered under the rule of Augusto Pinochet. In 1981, hostile authoritarian regimes across Latin America tried to prevent her concerts there – three decades later, her return tour of 1984 was heralded as a triumphant success.
Joan was a fixture on Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986, with U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting and others. Her 1989 concert in Czechoslovakia was cited by President-to-be Vaclav Havel as a tipping point in the Velvet Revolution that established the Czech Republic. In 1993, Joan was in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina, at the invitation of Refugees International. A year later she was singing to her friend and mentor Pete Seeger at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.
The Four Voices benefit concerts with Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls that took place later on in the 1990s (reprised for eleven shows in 2017), reinforced Joan’s belief in the new generation of songwriters’ ability to speak to her. The 1995 live album Ring Them Bells expanded on the Four Voices format (featuring duets with Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Janis Ian, and more). It was followed by Gone From Danger (1997), with songs from a new generation of songwriters including Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Sinéad Lohan, and others.
Into the new millennium, Joan received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 49th annual Grammy Awards® in 2007, where she introduced the Dixie Chicks (now known as the Chicks) and saluted their courage to protest the Iraq war. She stood with old friend Nelson Mandela in London’s Hyde Park as the world celebrated his 90th birthday in 2008. The 50th anniver¬sa¬ry of her debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival was under¬scored by the PBS American Masters series premiere of her life story, Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound (2009). She attended the first Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama that year, and returned to D.C. in 2010, for In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement , an all-star concert broadcast live from the East Room.
Joan’s landmark debut album of 1960 was honored by the National Academy of Record¬ing Arts & Sciences in 2011, who inducted it into the Grammy® Hall Of Fame and by the Library of Congress in 2015, who selected it to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. That same year, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, Amnesty International’s highest honor was bestowed on Joan, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights.
At the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2017, it was noted that amidst the Harry Belafonte and traditional folk covers that Joan recorded on her post-high school demos, she also had her way with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ “Annie Had A Baby,” the Coasters’ “Young Blood,” and Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.”
The “Fare Thee Well” tour ended at Teatro Real in Madrid on July 28, 2019. In November, Joan received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th annual Latin Grammys® in Las Vegas. That same week, she attended the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame in Boston, where she presented the Club Passim aka Club 47 Lifetime Achievement Award to its longtime programmer Betsy Siggins, a close friend since their time as Boston University freshmen in 1958.
In the earliest days of the 2020 pandemic shutdown, Joan released a series of solo perform-ance videos of songs from her living room, done in a variety of languages for her fans around the world. In April, the prestigious American Academy Of Arts & Sciences (founded in 1781), announced her election to its membership, in the company of Henry David Thoreau, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, President Jimmy Carter, and others.
Throughout the year, Joan’s dedication to painting new “Mischief Makers” continued apace. Her self-portrait titled “Black Is the Color” was authorized for the book cover of Joan Baez: The Last Leaf (published October 2020), the first comprehens¬ive biography of her career, written by award-winning journalist Elizabeth Thomson, who has interviewed and reported extensively on her subject over the course of nearly four decades. Another portrait captured April Covid-19 victim John Prine, titled “Hello In There,” which benefited the Pandemic Resource & Response Initiative. Joan’s paintings join a lifetime of recordings and memorable concert performances that will reverberate long into the future.
( by Arthur Levy, January 2021 )
Joan Chandos Baez is born on January 9 in Staten Island, New York, the middle daughter of Albert Vinicio and Joan Bridge Baez.
Joan spends a year living in Baghdad, Iraq, with her family when her father accepts a job there. Upon their return to the U.S., the family moves to California.
For the first time, Joan hears a young Martin Luther King, Jr. lecture on nonviolence and civil rights. She also buys her first guitar.
Joan commits her first act of civil disobedience by refusing to leave her high school (Palo Alto High School) during an air-raid drill. She also meets Gandhian scholar, Ira Sandperl, who becomes one of her strongest political influences.
Joan graduates from Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto, California in June. She also records a demonstration album, but it fails to garner interest from record company executives and the project is shelved.
In late summer, the Baez family moves to Belmont, Massachusetts, when Joan's father accepts a teaching post at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joan's interest in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, folk scene grows as she begins visiting the local coffeehouses. She registers as a student at Boston University, but only sporadically attends classes and soon quits school to concentrate on her blossoming singing career.
Joan begins performing regularly at Club 47, a folk music club in Cambridge, where she attracts a large and devoted following. She meets Bill Wood prior to taping WHRB Harvard Radio Balladeers program, which Wood hosts. They become friends and begin performing together. With Bill and Ted Alevizos, Joan records the album Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square for Veritas Records, a local Boston record company.
At the invitation of impresario Albert Grossman, Joan appears at The Gate Of Horn nightclub in Chicago. During her two-week stint there, she meets both Bob Gibson and Odetta. Bob is impressed enough with her that he invites her to join him during his set at the Newport Folk Festival on July 11, and her unscheduled appearance makes her the talk of the Festival and establishes her as a talented and exciting new folksinger.
Joan appears at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival as a solo performer, and makes her New York City concert debut at the 92nd Street Y on November 5th. Also in November, her first album for Vanguard Recording Society, Joan Baez, is released and becomes a huge success.
Joan meets Bob Dylan at Gerde's Folk City in April of this year, following his appearance there as an opening act for John Lee Hooker. She also records and releases her second Vanguard album, Joan Baez, Volume Two, and embarks on her first national concert tour.
As Joan becomes more involved with the civil rights movement, she conducts the first of three concert tours to Southern college campuses with a strict no-discrimination policy for audiences. The album Joan Baez in Concert is released in September, and she is the subject of the November 23, 1962, TIME Magazine cover story.
Joan Baez In Concert is nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Folk Recording" category. Joan appears at the Monterey Folk Festival with Bob Dylan (and invites him to be a surprise guest on her summer tour) and headlines at the Newport Folk Festival.
Joan refuses to appear on and leads a much-publicized artist boycott of ABC-TV's Hootenanny show due to their banning of Pete Seeger as a result of his political activism. In August she sings "We Shall Overcome" before an estimated quarter of million people at the civil rights March on Washington.
Joan Baez In Concert, Part Two is released, and Squire Records releases an unauthorized reissue of Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square .
Joan protests U.S. involvement in Vietnam by withholding 60% of her income taxes, the amount determined used for military purposes. The Internal Revenue Service responds by placing a lien against her. She continues to withhold portions of her taxes for the next ten years. And after performing for President Johnson in Washington, she urges him to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam. Joan also continues her civil right work by appearing at a benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, protesting the state's Proposition 14 which would allow segregated housing, and she becomes involved with the Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley. As the students take over Sproul Hall, Joan instructs them to "Have love as you do this thing and it will succeed." The police wait until she departs the building before moving in and arresting 800 students.
Fantasy Records releases Joan Baez In San Francisco , an unauthorized release of the demonstration album she recorded as a teenager in 1958, and she files for an injunction to block distribution. Joan once again headlines at the Newport Folk Festival, leads a seminar on "The New Folk Music" at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and travels with the Beatles on a portion of their U.S. concert tour.
Joan Baez/5 , her final album of all acoustic music, is released, and The Joan Baez Songbook is published. Containing 66 songs from her repertoire and with illustrations by Eric Von Schmidt, the book becomes a staple among guitar students and is reprinted twenty times over the next few decades.
"There But For Fortune" becomes a hit single and is nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Folk Recording" category. Joan does a joint U.S. concert tour with Bob Dylan, gives her first major concert outside the U.S. at London's Royal Albert Hall, and Farewell, Angelina is released.
In March, Joan participates in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and in August she participates in a demonstration outside The White House protesting U.S. involvement in Vietnam. With Ira Sanderl, she founds the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence in Carmel Valley, California. After area residents claim the onslaught of "hippies and free-love subversives" will threaten property values, the Institute closes after one month, but re-opens without incident in December.
Joan's first three Vanguard recordings are certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, and Noel is released. She also begins recording an album of contemporary popular songs produced by her brother-in-law, Richard Farina, but the project is shelved after Farina's untimely death in a motorcycle accident in late April.
While in West Germany, Joan leads an Easter Day anti-war march, and in September, she participates in a march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Grenada, Mississippi, protesting the beatings of black school children as schools were de-segregated. When Joan attempts to enroll five black children in a formerly segregated school, she is barred from entering the school. In December she both performs at a benefit for striking farm workers in California, and participates in a Christmas vigil at San Quentin Penitentiary urging the commutation of death sentences for 64 prisoners.
While performing in Japan, Joan's political comments are intentionally mistranslated. The interpreter claims, and later denies, that a CIA agent pressured him to mistranslate her political remarks. The CIA denies any involvement in the matter. Back in the U.S., on August 13, Joan is denied permission to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) due to her anti-war activities. She responds by performing in a free concert at the base of the Washington Monument before an estimated audience of 30,000. Later in the year, Joan joins 56 others in filing suit in California's Federal District Court to reclaim portions of their 1965 and 1966 income taxes on the grounds that they are conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War. The suit is dismissed from court in January, 1968.
Joan headlines at the Newport Folk Festival in July. She also appears on the Women Strike For Peace benefit recording Save The Children , as well as appearing in the films Don't Look Back and Festival . Her own Joan is released by Vanguard in August.
On October 16th Joan is among over 100 people arrested for blocking the entrance to the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakland, California. She is sentenced and serves ten days at the Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center. In December, she is again arrested with 49 other demonstrators for blocking the entrance of the same induction center. She receives a 90 day prison sentence (45 days suspended), but is abruptly released after just a month because prison officials fear an inmate uprising on her scheduled release date.
The European Exchange System reveals that the sale of Joan Baez recordings has been banned in Army PXs because of her anti-war activities. On March 26th, Joan marries draft resister and activist David Harris. They tour the country on a joint concert and lecture series advocating draft resistance. Later in the year, twenty young men spontaneously present Joan with their draft cards during her concert at the Los Angeles Forum.
Baptism , an album of poetry recited and sung, is released, Joan again appears at the Newport Folk Festival, and Any Day Now , a two-record collection of Bob Dylan songs, is released. Daybreak , a memoir penned by Joan, is published (Dial Press) and is a bestseller.
During a taping of CBS-TV's The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour , Joan's remarks pertaining to draft resistance are censored, prompting a pre-emption of the show. When it finally does air, her remarks are deleted from the tape, and soon thereafter, CBS cancels the controversial program.
David Harris begins serving a three-year prison term for draft resistance in July. Joan gives birth to their son, Gabriel Earl, in December, and Harris is released in 1971 after serving 20 months.
Any Day Now is nominated for a "Best Folk Recording" Grammy Award, David's Album is released, and in August Joan is a headliner at the Woodstock Festival.
Both One Day At A Time and The First Ten Years are released. Joan appears at the Isle of Wight Festival, the Big Sur Folk Festival, and the International Song Festival in Sopot, Poland. The film Carry It On , featuring Joan and David Harris is released, as is the film of Woodstock which features Joan's performance of "Joe Hill."
David Harris is released from prison on March 15th. He and Joan later separate and eventually divorce. The book Coming Out , written by Joan and David is published. Also, the soundtrack album to the film Carry It On is released.
The Chicago Business Executives Move for Vietnam Peace honor Joan with an award for her anti-war work. In October, Joan gives three sold-out concerts at University of California at Berkeley's Greek Theatre, including a benefit for the Greek Resistance attended by Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin, and other exiled patriots.
The film Sacco And Vanzetti and its soundtrack recording are released. Both feature songs sung by Joan and written by Joan with Ennio Morricone. The film Celebration At Big Sur , comprised of highlights of the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival and featuring several performances by Joan, is released.
Joan's own Blessed Are. is released, and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" reaches the Top Ten and is certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Blessed Are. and Any Day Now are certified gold, and Joan is nominated for a Best Female Vocalist Grammy Award. Joan, having left Vanguard Records the previous year, signs with A&M Records and records and releases Come From The Shadows as her debut with A&M. While working in Nashville, she co-produces Jeffrey Shurtleff's album State Farm , also contributing vocals to the project.
In June Joan helps to organize an anti-war demonstration for women and children called Ring Around The Congress. Though plagued by political sabotage and Hurricane Agnes, 2500 women and children succeed in surrounding the Congress. Back home, Joan devotes almost a year to helping establish Amnesty International on the west coast. She gives benefit concerts for the fledgling organizations and later serves on the Advisory Council. In December, Joan travels to Hanoi at the invitation of The Liaison Committee to distribute mail and Christmas presents to the American prisoners of war. While she is there, Hanoi is subjected to heavy aerial bombings from U.S. forces, later known as the "Christmas Bombings."
Where Are You Now, My Son? is released. This recording features taped segments from Joan's trip to Hanoi. She also does more fundraising and outreach for Amnesty International.
Gracias A La Vida , a Spanish language album, is released. Joan tours around the world including Japan, Australia, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia and Argentina. Also, the film Sing Sing Thanksgiving , featuring Joan and taped at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, is released.
Diamonds & Rust is released in April and later in the year it is certified gold. In October Joan begins touring with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue.
In May, Joan appears at The War Is Over! rally in New York's Central Park. In August she receives the Public Service Award at the first annual Rock Music Awards, and is honored with "Joan Baez Day" on August 2nd in Atlanta, Georgia.
From Every Stage , an two-record set comprised of performances from Joan's 1975 U.S. concert tour, is released, and later in the year Gulf Winds , the first album to consist solely of her own compositions, is also released. She also tours for a second time with Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue.
Joan travels to Northern Ireland and marches with the Irish Peace People, calling for an end to the violence plaguing the country. She also promotes the plight of jailed Czechoslovakian musicians through a mass mailing to members of the music industry.
Joan appears at a Kent State rally protesting the building of a gymnasium over the site where four students were gunned down in 1970, and while touring in Spain, she sings "No Nos Moveran" ("We Shall Not Be Moved") on a live national television show, ignoring a sanction imposed by the late dictator Francisco Franco 40 years earlier prohibiting the song from being performed.
Blowin' Away is released on Portrait Records and Joan tours both Europe and the U.S. Concerts in the U.S. include one at California's Soledad Prison and one as part of the Bread & Roses Festival of Acoustic Music presented at the University of California at Berkeley's Greek Theatre in October.
The film Renaldo and Clara , comprised of footage from the Rolling Thunder Revue and featuring Joan, is released in January.
Joan appears at various demonstrations and rallies on behalf of the nuclear freeze movement, and she also performs at several benefit concerts in California to defeat Proposition 6 (Briggs Initiative), legislation that would have banned openly gay people from teaching in public schools. She is also scheduled to perform a concert in Leningrad on July 4 with Santana and The Beach Boys, but the concert is abruptly cancelled without explanation by Soviet officials. Despite the cancellation, Joan travels to Moscow and meets with dissidents including Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner, bringing them messages and gifts from their friends and relatives in the U.S.
Joan brings suit under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain National Security Agency files pertaining to her. A Federal judge orders all documents, with the exception of two paragraphs in one report, released in November. The NSA protests the judge's ruling, claiming that the de-classified information would prove harmful to "national security." Also, late in the year, Joan participates in the candlelight memorial march to City Hall following the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, and later presents a free concert on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall as her Christmas gift to the city.
The songbook And Then I Wrote. , containing Joan's original songs and sketches, is published. Also, Honest Lullaby is also released this year, and Joan receives the San Francisco Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) as top female vocalist for 1978. In the fall, she again performs at the Bread & Roses Festival of Acoustic Music, and she also receives the American Civil Liberties Union's "Earl Warren Award" for her commitment to human and civil rights issues.
Joan founds Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, a human rights organization she will head for the next 13 years. The first course of action for Humanitas is to publish the "Open Letter to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam" in five major U.S. newspapers. The letter protests human rights violations occurring in that country. Joan travels to Southeast Asia to substantiate reports of human rights violations there, and back in the U.S., she successfully prevails upon President Jimmy Carter to dispatch the Seventh Fleet to rescue large numbers of "boat people" fleeing the region. Humanitas, along with KRON-TV and the San Francisco Examiner newspaper, forms the Cambodian Emergency Relief Fund and raises over one million dollars in aid.
Joan is bestowed Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees by both Antioch University and Rutgers University for her political activism and the "universality of her music." She also receives the Jefferson Award presented by the American Institute of Public Service, and she receives the San Francisco Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) as top female vocalist for 1979. The recording Tournee Europeene (European Tour) , comprised of songs from her European concert tour, is released in Europe and Latin America. She also gives a free concert in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on Christmas Eve, and begins working with members of the Grateful Dead on a record which is never released in its entirety.
In another trip to Southeast Asia, Joan assists in an effort to take food and medicine into the western regions of Cambodia and participates in a United Nations Humanitarian Conference on Kampuchea (Cambodia).
During a five-week concert and human rights fact-finding tour of Latin America, Joan is forbidden to perform publicly in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. While there, she is subjected to police surveillance and death threats. The country of Nicaragua, however, allows her to perform.
The film There But For Fortune: Joan Baez in Latin America , documenting her 1981 Latin American tour, premieres on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) television. Joan also makes several appearances in support of a nuclear weapons freeze, including performances with Bob Dylan at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles and Paul Simon in Boston. Additionally, she joins Jackson Browne in an ecumenical vigil in Washington, D.C. in memory of assassinated Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Very Early Joan , a two-record set comprised of Joan's live concert performances recorded between 1961-1963, is released by Vanguard Records.
Live Europe '83 , a live album comprised of performances recorded during her spring 1983 concert tour of Europe, is released in Europe and Canada. The album is awarded a gold record in France and the Academy Charles Cros Award for the "Best Live Album of 1983." Also, while on tour in France Joan presents a free concert dedicated to nonviolence in Paris on the Place de la Concorde on July 15, attended by an estimated crowd of 120,000, and she receives the French Legion D'Honneur Award.
In the U.S., Joan appears on the Grammy Awards telecast for the first time, performing "Blowin' In The Wind," and she embarks on her first U.S. concert tour in three years.
The American Civil Liberties Union brings suit on behalf of 15 organizations and 37 individuals, including Joan, against the conservative Western Goals Foundation. The plaintiffs charge that the organization illegally accessed Los Angeles police department databases and intelligence files on dissident organizations and individuals. The suit is later settled for $1.8 million dollars.
Joan appears in the film Hard Travelin' , a documentary on Woody Guthrie, and contributes a song to the film's soundtrack album. She also tours the U.S. and Europe, and begins work on her second autobiographical book. The Vanguard collection Greatest Hits is released.
Joan attends Club 47's 25th Anniversary concert, held at Boston's Symphony Hall, and also performs with the Boston Pops Orchestra for a segment of PBS's Evening At Pops television program. In the summer, she opens the U.S. portion of the Live Aid benefit concert. She also tours the U.S., Australia and Canada, and appears at the Newport Folk Festival in August, the first Festival since 1969.
In November, Joan travels to Poland with her friend and fellow activist, Ginetta Sagan, and among others, meets Lech Walesa.
Joan is featured as a performer with Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour, and she appears at Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium reunion concert in San Francisco, which is later broadcast on television as A 60s Reunion With Bill Graham . Also, at the time of the summit meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, Joan performs "The People's Summit" concert which is broadcast live throughout Iceland.
And A Voice To Sing With , Joan's autobiography, is published by Summit Books (Simon & Schuster) and becomes a New York Times bestseller. Recently , her first studio album in eight years, is released by Gold Castle Records. Joan Baez , a PBS documentary featuring concert and other footage and an interview, premieres.
Joan travels to the Middle East to meet with and sing for the people of Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip. She also performs in a sold-out benefit concert at New York's Carnegie Hall for Countdown '87, a coalition formed to lobby against the U.S. support of the Nicaraguan contras. Through Humanitas, Joan, together with Bill Graham, co-produces a benefit concert for the AIDS Emergency Fund at Graham's Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. The show features Joan and Mimi Farina, as well as members of the Grateful Dead.
The song "Asimbonanga" (from Recently ) is nominated for a Best Contemporary Folk Recording Grammy Award.
Joan is featured as a special guest performer on Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! concert tour. While touring in Europe, she leads a candlelight march in Rome on July 28, seeking repeal of a death sentence against a U.S. teenager.
In May Joan performs in Czechoslovakia in a concert attended by many of that country's dissidents. She is later credited by President Vaclav Havel (who was in attendance at the concert) as having been a great influence in the subsequent nonviolent "Velvet Revolution." Joan also receives the Leadership Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
Diamonds & Rust In The Bullring , recorded in concert in Bilbao, Spain in 1988, is released in April. Speaking Of Dreams , featuring songs recorded with Paul Simon, Jackson Browne and the Gipsy Kings, is released in November.
The video Joan Baez In Concert , featuring a guest appearance by Jackson Browne, premieres on PBS television in March. Joan tours Europe in the spring and the U.S. in the summer, including six dates with the Indigo Girls in which they open and close the shows as a trio.
Brothers In Arms , a Gold Castle Records compilation album featuring two previously unreleased songs, is released in September.
In a benefit performance for Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, Joan performs in a vocal quartet, appropriate titled Four Voices For Human Rights, with Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter in Berkeley, California, in October. The four women perform together numerous times throughout the next few years.
Play Me Backwards is released on Virgin Records, and Joan embarks on a world tour lasting through 1993.
Humanitas International Human Rights Committee ceases operations after thirteen years of work.
At the invitation of Refugees International and sponsored by The Soros Foundation, Joan travels to war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina in an effort to help bring more attention to the suffering there. She is the first major artist to perform in Sarajevo since the outbreak of the civil war. In October, Joan becomes the first major artist to perform in a professional concert presentation on Alcatraz Island (former Federal Penitentiary) in San Francisco in a benefit for her sister Mimi Farina's Bread & Roses organization.
Play Me Backwards is nominated for a Best Contemporary Folk Recording Grammy award. Rare, Live & Classic , a box-set retrospective chronicling her career from 1958-1989, is released on Vanguard Records. The set contains 60 tracks, 22 of which are previously unreleased.
Joan tours the U.S. and Europe extensively. She performs at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington, D.C., in honor of one of the recipients, Pete Seeger. Along with Janis Ian, Joan performs for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's "Fight the Right" fundraising event in San Francisco.
In April, Joan performs four shows at the legendary Bottom Line club in New York City with guest artists Mary Black, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mimi Farina, Tish Hinojosa, Janis Ian, Indigo Girls, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and Dar Williams. The best of these performances are released on the CD Ring Them Bells on Guardian Records.
Joan receives the San Francisco Bay Area Music Award (BAMMY) for Outstanding Female Vocalist for 1995. Greatest Hits , a compilation by A&M Records is released as part of their Backlot Series releases. Live At Newport , a CD of previously unreleased performances from Joan's 1963, 1964 and 1965 Newport Folk Festival appearances, is released by Vanguard Records. She tours the world in support of Ring Them Bells . In October, she once again returns to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco in a benefit concert for Bread & Roses along with Indigo Girls and Dar Williams.
Gone From Danger , Joan's second project for Guardian Records, is released on September 23. She begins a world tour in Europe in October.
Joan continues to tour in support of Gone From Danger . She also appears at a fundraising event to benefit the legal defense fund for her cousin, Peter Baez, fighting charges stemming from his operating a medicinal marijuana clinic.
Joan and Bonnie Raitt visit environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill in a 200 foot redwood tree named Luna, several hundred miles north of San Francisco to encourage her during her two-year stay to protect the tree from the logging industry.
Joan continues extensive touring in the U.S. and Europe. She joins an all-star cast and participates in three Honor the Earth benefits on reservations in Montana. A concert performance taped in Philadelphia is broadcast over the internet.
At the first BBC2 Folk Awards in London, Joan is presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Joan cancels her U.S. and Canadian tour due to the illness of her sister, Mimi Farina. Mimi succumbs to a rare form of cancer on July 18, and Joan eulogizes her sister at a memorial service a Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Joan accepts the limited engagement role of "La Contessa" as part of the cast of Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco.
In August Vanguard Records begin re-releasing Joan's catalog as part of their Original Master Series. The series will encompass all 13 original albums she recorded while under contract from 1960-1972. Each reissue will feature digitally restored sound, bonus cuts, new and original artwork, and new liner notes essays written by Arthur Levy.
Joan returns to touring in the U.S. and Canada. Joan also rejoins the Teatro ZinZanni cast for another limited run.
The Bay Area Chapter of NARAS presents Joan with their Governor's Award. She is also presented with an special award by the John Steinbeck Society.
For the third time, Joan reprises her role as "La Contessa" in Teatro ZinZanni.
In August Universal follows Vanguard's lead and releases a mini-boxed set of Joan's six complete A&M albums, with bonus material and new liner notes by Arthur Levy.
Joan joins Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Billy Bragg and Chrissie Hynde in London for the Concert for a Landmine Free World. Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin presents her debut performance of The Joan Baez Suite, Opus 144. Composed for Isbin by John Duarte and commissioned by the Augustine Foundation, the piece features songs from Joan's early career.
Dark Chords on a Big Guitar is released and Joan begins to tour in support of the CD.
Joan tours the UK in January and February, and presents Steve Earle with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC2 Folk Awards. Joan and Steve also do a series of concert dates together in June, after which she heads to Europe for a summer tour.
In the fall Joan joins the west coast leg of documentary filmmaker Michael Moore's "Slacker Uprising Tour" in advance of the U.S. elections.
After some well-deserved time off in the winter and spring, Joan returns to Teatro ZinZanni as the Gypsy "Calliope."
In August she joins antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, for the weeks long protest outside President Bush's ranch. Sheehan's son Casey was killed in combat while serving in Iraq.
Joan returns to touring in the U.S. in the fall, after the release of her live CD Bowery Songs, recorded in November of 2004 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.
Joan tours the U.K., France, Germany and Italy in March and April.
In late May Joan joins Julia Butterfly Hill and others in an effort to save a community farm in south central Los Angeles.
In July Joan is honored by the Legal Community Against Violence, a public interest law center dedicated to preventing gun violence.
In October Joan travels to the Czech Republic to help honor Vaclav Havel at the annual conference of Forum 2000.
Joan tours the U.S. in October and November.
Joan receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) at the 2007 Grammy Awards, and introduces a performance by the Dixie Chicks.
In October, Joan is honored by the Huntington's Disease Society of America at their 40th Anniversary Guthrie Awards at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Joan returns to the U.K./Europe for a concert tour in the winter.
Joan tours in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, France, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovakia, Italy, and Spain. She also appears at the Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom.
In June Joan attends Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday celebration, 46664, in London's Hyde Park.
In September, Joan receives the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award at the Americana Music Association's seventh annual awards show in Nashville.
Day After Tomorrow , produced by Steve Earle and recorded in Nashville, is released on September 9.
In January, Joan performs at the first Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama and performs at the Peace Ball.
On May 3rd, Joan performs at the Pete Seeger birthday celebration concert at Madison Square Garden.
The PBS American Masters series premieres the story of Joan's life, Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound.
Throughout the year, Joan tours the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, France, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
In February Joan performs at the White House in Washington, DC, as part of In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement.
Joan tours in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, and Portugal in February and March. While in Spain in March, she is awarded the Orden de las Artes y las Letras de Espana (Order of Arts and Letters from Spain), the country's most prestigious award given to foreign artists.
In May Joan participates in a Haitian relief benefit organized by the Jenkins Penn Haitian Relief Organization, and in June she is honored with the Humanitarian Award by the Children's Health Fund in New York City.
In October and November Joan tours in the United States and Canada.
The album Joan Baez is inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
In February Joan is awarded the 2011 Folk Alliance International Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award, and in March Joan is honored by Amnesty International with the inaugural Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights.
Joan joins the cast of Teatro ZinZanni once again in June and July.
While in Paris, Joan officially receives the Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honor), representing her status as a Chevalier (Knight) in the Order.
In November Joan participates in Occupy Wall Street's Veterans Day Rally in New york City.
Joan's touring for the year includes France, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the United States.
Joan tours France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Italy, Austria, and Ecuador.
In May Joan is honored by International House at UC Berkeley.
Early in the year Joan travels to Hanoi to revisit the area she spent time in during the Christmas bombings of 1971.
Joan tours the United States in June. In July she joins Emmylou Harris and Jackson Browne in a benefit performance for Downtown Streets Team, a San Jose area organization working to end homelessness.
In August Joan tours Australia and New Zealand for the first time since 1985.
Early in the year Joan performs as a guest of Mary Chapin Carpenter with the New York Philharmonic.
Joan returns to Latin America in March for the first time since 1981, doing shows in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Chile. Coinciding with this trip is the release of "Diamantes," a CD combining Spanish language song culled from the 1988 album Diamonds and Rust in the Bullring with some concert favorites and two newly recorded Portuguese songs.
She tours the U.S. in June, July, and November, as well as Europe and the U.K. in September and October.
In November Joan receives the ASCAP Centennial Award, a singular once-in-a-century honor.
The album Joan Baez (1960) is inducted into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
In March Joan tours Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
In May Joan receives Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award, the organization's top honor recognizing those who have shown exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights.
Joan tours Turkey, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Luxembourg in July, with a final appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival in the U.K.
September and October find Joan touring in Australia and New Zealand.
Joan celebrates her 75th birthday with a star-studded evening at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The concert is filmed and airs on PBS Television's Great Performances.
Joan tours the U.S. in March, Europe in July and August, and the U.S. again in the Fall.
Late in the year, Joan visits Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota where tribes gathered to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In April Joan is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the summer Joan, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls perform eleven shows in a reunion of the early 1990's Four Voices.
In September Joan's artwork receives its first solo professional gallery showing at the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, California. "Mischief Makers" is a collection of portrait paintings of people who have brought about social change through nonviolent action.
Whistle Down The Wind , Joan's final studio album produced by Joe Henry is released on March 2nd.
Joan spends much of the year touring the world as she begins her "Fare Thee Well" tour, the final extended tour of her career.
In December, Joan is inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Governor Jerry Brown.
In January Joan participates in a Civil Rights Retreat organized by the Gandhi King Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice.
Whistle Down The Wind garners a nomination for the Best Folk Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
Joan spends much of the year touring the world and completes her "Fare Thee Well" tour, culminating with a July 28th final concert at Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain.
In November Joan receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Grammys and helps celebrate the 60th anniversary of Club Passim (Club 47) in Boston.
- Joan Baez
- Joan Baez, Volume Two
- Joan Baez In Concert
- Blessed Are.
- Any Day Now
- Diamonds & Rust
- Live Europe '83
Eight (8) Grammy Nominations
- 1963 - Joan Baez In Concert for Best Folk Recording
- 1965 - There But For Fortune for Best Folk Recording
- 1969 - Any Day Now for Best Folk Recording
- 1972 - Best Female Vocalist
- 1988 - Asimbonanga for Best Folk Recording
- 1993 - Play Me Backwards for Best Contemporary Folk Recording
- 2009 - Day After Tomorrow for Best Contemporary Folk Recording
- 2019 - Whistle Down The Wind for Best Folk Album
One (1) International Bluegrass Award
Three (3) BAMMY (San Francisco Bay Area) Awards
Two (2) Honorary Doctorate Degrees
- 1980, Doctor of Humane Letters, Antioch University
- 1980, Doctor of Humane Letters, Rutgers University
- Founder, Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence, 1965
- Chicago Business Executives Move For Vietnam Peace Award, 1971
- Joan Baez Day in Atlanta, Georgia, August 2, 1975
- Thomas Merton Award, 1976
- Public Service Award, 3rd Annual Rock Music Awards, 1977
- Founder and President, Humanitas International Human Rights Committee, 1979-1992
- Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award, ACLU, 1979
- Jefferson Award, American Institute of Public Service, 1980
- Lennon Peace Tribute Award, 1982
- A.D.A. Award, Americans For Democratic Action, 1982
- SANE Education Fund Peace Award, 1983
- Chevalier, Legion d'Honneur, France, 1983
- Best Live Album, Academy Charles Cros, France, 1983
- Leadership Award, ACLU of Southern California, 1989
- Death Penalty Focus of California Award, 1992
- Award of Achievement, The Gleitsman Foundation, 1994
- Joan Baez Day in Santa Cruz, California, August 27, 1994
- Golden Achievement Award, WXPN-FM Radio, Philadelphia, 1996
- Governors Award, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) (SF), 2003
- John Steinbeck Award, Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinback Studies, San Jose State University, 2003
- Josephine and Frank Duveneck Humanitarian Award, National Honoree, 2003
- Distinguished Leadership Award, Legal Community Against Violence, 2006
- Lifetime Achievement Award, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), 2007
- E-Chievement Award, E-Town, 2008
- Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award, Americana Music Association, 2008
- Orden de las Artes y Las Letras de España (Order of Arts and Letters), Spain, 2010
- Humanitarian Award, Children's Health Fund, 2010
- Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award, Folk Alliance International, 2011
- Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights, Amnesty International, 2011
- Courage of Conscience Award, The Peace Abbey, Boston, 2011
- Centennial Award, ASCAP, 2014
- Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award, 2015
- Joe Hill Memorial Music Award, 2017
- Member, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2017
- Member, California Hall of Fame, 2018
- Revolutionary Artist Award, the Narada Michael Walden Foundation, 2019
- Woody Guthrie Prize, Woody Guthrie Center, 2020
- Member, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS)
- Member, National Academy of Popular Music
- Member, National Academy of Songwriters
Ever since she visited her in the majestic redwood tree named Luna, Joan has supported the work of Julia Butterfly Hill. Check out Julia's website Circle of Life Foundation.
Joan has long supported the work of Amnesty International and encourages those wishing to become involved in the advancement of human rights issues around the world to contact A.I.
The movement to abolish the death penalty in the United States is a cause Joan has been active in for many years. To obtain information, statistics, and links to death penalty abolitionist groups, be sure to check out this informative web site.
Bread & Roses is the organization founded by Joan's sister, the late Mimi Farina. Bread & Roses brings free, live entertainment to people confined in institutions or isolated from society.
In the 1960s Joan started a school called The Institute for the Study of Nonviolence. Out of the Institute later grew the Resource Center for Nonviolence. It's a wonderful resource for those interested in social change through nonviolence. Visit them!
Another organization long supported by Joan is Human Rights Watch. Check out their good work!
Joan has always been a supporter of Unions and their struggles. The website Hard Miles Music brings together Folk Music and Labor Unions. Performer Phil Cohen is a lead organizer with UNITE, and a fine folk musician.