Singer-songwriter-activist Joan Baez was born on January 9, 1941 in Staten Island, New York. In many ways, Baez is the voice of the 1960s. She started out as an important part of the folk movement in the early part of that decade, recording many popular songs throughout the decade. And in 1969, she performed at Woodstock.
Baez also became one of the early and most vocal artists working for social justice issues. She continues to be a voice for important causes. For example, she marched next to Martin Luther King, Jr. and went to jail for supporting the draft resistance. And, she sang in the first Amnesty International tour.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Baez is still making music and doing other important work as she nears the end of her professional career. On April 7, 2017, Jackson Browne inducted her into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During her induction speech, she noted the current political climate and made the following appeal to the people:
“Where empathy is failing and sharing has been usurped by greed and the lust for power, let us double, triple, and quadruple our own efforts to empathize and to give of our resources and our selves. Let us together repeal and replace brutality, and make compassion a priority. Together let us build a great bridge, a beautiful bridge to once again welcome the tired and the poor, and we will pay for that bridge with our commitment.
“We the people must speak truth to power, and be ready to make sacrifices. We the people are the only one who can create change. I am ready. I hope you are, too. I want my granddaughter to know that I fought against an evil tide, and had the masses by my side.”
“When all of these things are accompanied by music, music of every genre, the fight for a better world, one brave step at a time, becomes not just bearable, but possible, and beautiful.”
For 2018, Baez has planned the “Fare Thee Well Tour 2018.” And in 2018, she also plans to release her first album since 2008 when she released Day After Tomorrow. Joe Henry is producing the new album, Whistle Down The Wind.
1965 Live Performance
Celebrate Baez’s birthday by going back to 1965 as you watch her perform a televised concert that year. June 5, 1965, she performed at the BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, London. Watching her perform does make the world a little more bearable and beautiful.
What is your favorite Joan Baez song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)