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Joan Baez

The most accomplished interpretive folksinger of the 1960s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a career still going strong. Baez is possessed of a once-in-a-lifetime soprano, which, since the late '50s, she has put in the service of folk and pop music as well as a variety of political causes. Starting out in Boston, Baez first gained recognition at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, then cut her debut album, Joan Baez (October 1960), for Vanguard Records. It was made up of 13 traditional songs, some of them children's ballads, given near-definitive treatment. A moderate success on release, the album took off after the breakthrough of Joan Baez, Vol. 2 (September 1961), and both albums became huge hits, as did Baez's third album, Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 1 (September 1962). Each album went gold and stayed in the bestseller charts more than two years.

From 1962 to 1964, Baez was the popular face of folk music, headlining festivals and concert tours and singing at political events, including the August 1963 March on Washington. During this period, she began to champion the work of folk songwriter Bob Dylan, and gradually her repertoire moved from traditional material toward the socially conscious work of the emerging generation of '60s artists like him. Her albums of this period were Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 2 (November 1963) and Joan Baez 5 (October 1964), which contained her cover of Phil Ochs' "There But for Fortune," a Top Ten hit in the U.K.

Like other popular folk performers, Baez was affected by the changes in popular music wrought by the appearance of the Beatles in the U.S. in 1964, and Dylan's introduction of folk-rock in 1965, and she began to augment her simple acoustic guitar backing with other instruments, initially on Farewell, Angelina (October 1965). It was followed by a Christmas album, Noël (October 1966), and Joan (August 1967), albums on which she was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Peter Schickele. Baez continued to experiment in the late '60s, releasing Baptism (June 1968), in which she recited poetry, and Any Day Now (December 1968), a double album of Dylan songs done with country backing, which went gold.

In March 1968, Baez had married anti-war protest leader David Harris, who was imprisoned as a draft evader. Harris was a country music fan, and Baez's turn toward country, which continued on David's Album (June 1969) and One Day at a Time (March 1970), reflected his taste. Blessed Are... (August 1971) was a gold-selling double album that spawned a gold Top Ten hit in Baez's cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." It was followed by Carry It On (December 1971), the soundtrack to a documentary about Baez and Harris. Baez switched record label affiliation to A&M Records with Come from the Shadows (May 1972), which moved her in a more pop direction. Where Are You Now, My Son? (May 1973) included sounds taped during Baez's visit to Hanoi in December 1972.

In the late '60s and early '70s, Baez moved toward pop/rock music and also began to write her own songs, culminating in the gold-selling Diamonds & Rust (April 1975), which was followed by the entirely self-written Gulf Winds (October 1976). Baez moved to the Portrait label of CBS Records with Blowin' Away (June 1977), but she left the label after Honest Lullaby (May 1979), and her next album, European Tour (1980), was released only outside the U.S. It was another seven years before she found an American record label, Gold Castle, for Recently (1987), which was followed by the live album Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring (January 1989) and Speaking of Dreams (October 1989). Baez moved to Virgin Records for Play Me Backwards (August 1992).

In 1993, Vanguard released Rare, Live & Classic, a three-CD boxed-set retrospective. Ring Them Bells, a live album on which Baez was joined by musical descendants like Mary Chapin Carpenter and Indigo Girls, came out on Guardian Records in 1995. Gone from Danger, her first studio album in five years, followed in 1997, and it was another six years before the release of Dark Chords on a Big Guitar in 2003. A November 2004 concert in New York was documented on the 2005 release Bowery Songs. Baez's 24th studio album, Day After Tomorrow, produced by Steve Earle, was released on September 9, 2008 by Bobolink/Razor & Tie, followed by Sing Me Home almost exactly a year later in 2009. In 2016, Baez celebrated her 75th birthday with a special concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Joined by an all-star cast of musicians, including Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, and Jackson Browne, the show was captured for posterity and issued as an official release a few months later. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Debut Album Plus!

1. Silver Dagger

2. East Virginia

3. Fare Thee Well (10,000 Miles)

4. House Of The Rising Sun

5. All My Trials

6. Wildwood Flower

7. Donna Donna

8. John Riley

9. Rake And Rambling Boy

10. Little Moses

11. Mary Hamilton

12. Henry Martin

13. El Preso Numero Nueve

14. Banks Of The Ohio

15. O What A Beautiful City

16. Sail Away Ladies

17. Black Is The Color

18. Lowlands

19. Virgin Mary (What You Gonna Call Your Pretty Little Baby)

20. Kitty

21. So Soon In The Morning

22. Careless Love

23. Don't Weep After Me

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Joan Baez

1. Diamonds And Rust

2. Fountain Of Sorrow

3. Love Song To A Stranger

4. Hello In There

5. Joan Baez & Joni Mitchell / Dida

6. Jesse

7. In The Quiet Morning

8. Gracias A La Vida (Here's To Life)

9. Children And All That Jazz

10. Forever Young

11. Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The (Live)

x

Track List: The Best Of Joan Baez

1. There But For Fortune

2. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

3. The Water Is Wide (Live)

4. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream

5. I Am A Poor Wayfaring Stranger

6. Joe Hill

7. Pack Up Your Sorrows

8. Silver Dagger

9. We Shall Overcome (Live)

x

Track List: Gone From Danger

Disc 1

1. No Mermaid

2. Reunion Hill

3. Crack In The Mirror

4. February

5. Fishing

6. If I Wrote You

7. Lily

8. Who Do You Think I Am

9. Mercy Bound

10. Money For Floods

Disc 2
x

Track List: Diamonds & Rust

1. Diamonds & Rust

2. Fountain Of Sorrow

3. Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer

4. Children And All That Jazz

5. Simple Twist Of Fate

6. Blue Sky

7. Hello In There

8. Jesse

9. Winds Of The Old Days

10. Dida

11. I Dream Of Jeannie/Danny Boy (Medley)

x

Track List: Carry It On

1. Oh, Happy Day

2. Carry It On

3. In Forty Days

4. Hickory Wind

5. The Last Thing On My Mind

6. Life Is Sacred

7. Joe Hill

8. I Shall Be Released

9. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

10. Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word

11. Suzanne

12. Idols And Heroes

13. We Shall Overcome

x

Track List: One Day At A Time

1. Sweet Sir Galahad

2. No Expectations

3. Long Black Veil

4. Ghetto

5. Carry It On

6. Take Me Back To The Sweet Sunny South (feat. Jeffrey Shurtleff)

7. Seven Bridges Road (feat. Jeffrey Shurtleff)

8. Julie Blonde

9. Joe Hill

10. A Song For David

11. I Live One Day At A Time (feat. JeffreyShurtleff)

12. Sing Me Back Home (feat. Jeffrey Shurtleff)

13. Mama Tried (feat. Jeffrey Shurtleff)

x

Track List: Baptism

1. Old Welsh Song

2. I Saw The Vision Of Armies

3. Minister Of War

4. Song In The Blood

5. Casida Of The Lament

6. Of The Dark Past

7. London

8. In Guernica

9. Who Murdered The Minuets

10. Oh, Little Child

11. No Man Is An Island

12. From Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

13. All The Pretty Little Horses

15. The Magic Wood

16. Poems From The Japanese

17. Colours (Remix)

18. All In Green Went My Love Riding

19. Gacela Of The Dark Death

20. The Parable Of The Old Man And The Young

21. Evil

22. Epitaph For A Poet

23. Old Welsh Song (Reprise)

24. Mystic Numbers: 36. Wedding Song

25. When The Shy Star Goes Forth In Heaven

26. The Angel

x

Track List: 5

1. There But For Fortune

2. Stewball

3. It Ain't Me Babe

4. The Death Of Queen Jane

5. Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 / Aria

6. Go 'Way From My Window

7. I Still Miss Someone

8. When You Hear Them Cuckoos Hollerin'

9. Birmingham Sunday

10. So We'll Go No More A-Roving

11. O'Cangaceiro

12. The Unquiet Grave

13. Tramp On The Street

14. Long Black Veil

x

Track List: In Concert

1. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Live)

2. Geordie (Live)

3. Copper Kettle (Live)

4. Kumbaya (Live)

5. What Have They Done To The Rain (Live)

6. Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair (Live)

7. Danger Waters (Live)

8. Gospel Ship (Live)

9. House Carpenter (Live)

10. Pretty Boy Floyd (Live)

11. Lady Mary (Live)

12. Ate Amanha (Live)

13. Matty Groves (Live)

14. Streets Of Laredo (Live)

15. My Good Old Man (Live)

x

Track List: Joan Baez Vol.2

1. Wagoner's Lad

2. The Trees They Do Grow High

3. The Lily Of The West

4. Silkie

5. Engine 143

6. Once I Knew A Pretty Girl

7. Lonesome Road

8. Banks Of The Ohio

9. Pal Of Mine

10. Barbara Allen

11. The Cherry Tree Carol

12. Old Blue

13. Railroad Boy

14. Plaisir D'amour

15. I Once Loved A Boy

16. Poor Boy

17. Longest Train I Ever Saw

x

Track List: Day After Tomorrow

1. God Is God

Comments

Report as inappropriate
The answer is always blowing in the wind you have grab it make it yours
Report as inappropriate
Just saw Joan in concert in Indiana and she is still going strong! Love her music and her message!
Report as inappropriate
your one of GOds angels suck a beautiful voice with lyrics that happen in daily life god bless you.
Report as inappropriate
This gal can sing
Been folling her since the 60's
Report as inappropriate
Love her work. The music she sang had meaning then and now
Report as inappropriate
It's blowing in the wild
Report as inappropriate
carl48167
We saw her in Detroit bout 45 years ago. What a wonderful talent
Report as inappropriate
gkeplerk
Much love to Joan Baez whom I knew ion La Honda in1964
Georgianna Kepler
Report as inappropriate
Happy 75th Birthday, Joan. Our wish is Cent' Anni e piu! We've been with you and your music since teenage years and still weep at the lyrics of some of the songs. May God Bless you.
Report as inappropriate
Such range..such talent!
Report as inappropriate
One of those voices one will always find a familiar happy time in life.
Report as inappropriate
I still wish I was still back in those days when she first came out as such a great singer.
Report as inappropriate
kensheller
What range. How pure. From Sweetness to God Herself.
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful music, beautiful mind.
Report as inappropriate
ONE OF THE GREATEST FOLK SINGER OF OUR TIMES YOU CARRY LADY
Report as inappropriate
It's my humble opinion Joan Baez sings very well.
Report as inappropriate
johnnyohania n
I caught a Joan Baez interview. Oh boy she has a potty mouth!
Report as inappropriate
Why isn't the Joan Baez sings Dylan listed in the discography?
Report as inappropriate
Love you Joan!!!
Report as inappropriate
Marion,
Hers is one of my many earthly angels.
Report as inappropriate
Always will love her... Found comfort in her music & pristeen voicr
Report as inappropriate
No Joan Baez, not now, not ever
Report as inappropriate
mike3345mike
your songs make a grest VEGAS morning!!!
Report as inappropriate
hey I always think of you!
Report as inappropriate
wini_working 4 y o u
And what is this amazing woman doing now? She's so much a part of my past, I'd love to have her in the present too.
Report as inappropriate
rob6626
In the copy, it says that her first album, Joan Baez includes 13 traditional songs, some of them children's ballads . It should be Child ballads as in Francis James Child's 5 volumes on traditional English and Scottish ballads. It has nothing to do with children.
Report as inappropriate
suekaloustia n
Love you, Joan. Just read Steve Job's biography and learned that he and Joan dated for 3 yrs. starting when he was 27 and she was 41.
Report as inappropriate
jebarman8
Beautiful voice and character. I am glad that God gave her to this world. Amen.
Report as inappropriate
Joan, your magical voice carries me so gently by the winding paths of my memory, unveiling beautiful moments. Thank you for everything.
Report as inappropriate
Joan, your magical voice carries me so gently by the winding paths of my memory, unveiling beautiful moments. Thank you for everything.
Report as inappropriate
I have her first album....don ' t think more than 100 people have it, if that. Great album....and I'm not talking about the later issues of this record. Very collectible.
Report as inappropriate
Just saw her in concert Friday night in Seattle. Incredible. As strong as I remember her when I was teenager in the late 50's early 60's. Nostalgia up front and personal.
Report as inappropriate
A beautiful sad love song
Report as inappropriate
thexlostxpap e r c l i p
If anyone else likes Bob Dylan... http://www.n p r . o r g / 2 0 1 4 / 1 0 / 2 6 / 3 5 7 6 3 0 6 1 1 / f i r s t - l i s t e n - b o b - d y l a n - t h e - b a s e m e n t - t a p e s - c o m p l e t e - t h e - b o o t l e g - s e r i e s - v o l - 1 1
Report as inappropriate
She sang Sweet Sir Galahad for ME at a concert once.
Report as inappropriate
The band sang it first. She changed some key subtle thoughts of the song
Report as inappropriate
Ive loved joan since i first heard her in 1970 and her voice and persona are amazing.
Report as inappropriate
gksch214
She is clearly the QUEEEN of FOLK!
Report as inappropriate
MS. BAEZ

You fearlessly put your life down for your beliefs on a daily basis in the 1960's. You have such a brave & awesome soul and spirit . . .

SALUTE ! .
Report as inappropriate
garrickconne c t i o n
So the question is, whose side is God really on? Would it be fair to say that perhaps God cannot be on everyone's side, just as we could conclude that God really doesn't support every war, if any?
Report as inappropriate
urianly
I think, in the biography above, the writer is incorrect in describing some of the material on Joan's first album as children's ballads. Several of the songs are, in fact, Child ballads -- referring to the hundreds of traditional English and Scottish ballads collected by Francis James Child.....th e subject matter of which would rarely be considered meant for children!
Report as inappropriate
Saw her live in Lowell, MA., two summers ago, and she was awesome ! She had just buried her 100 year old Mom in California, and she was her care giver. She sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot, in her honor.
Report as inappropriate
Saw her at UCLA a few years ago. She sang Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts". The greatest performance I have ever seen or heard
Report as inappropriate
Amen garrickconne t c i o n ! !
Report as inappropriate
garrickconne c t i o n
Remember that God sent His son named Jesus who was and still is the Prince of Peace.
Report as inappropriate
suzan_philli p s
Her album with Chris kept me alive back in 1974 while in Italy. Cheers!
Report as inappropriate
jcarle38
Well, Joan has the most wonderful voice of our times. Her politics - I was in Vietnam in 1965. Boys died - for what. Joan - you had it right and still have it. If you are a military man in that period, why would you regard that war, those dead boys, were anything more than a very bad mistake by our leaders.
Report as inappropriate
smatteis10
She is just beautiful, inside and out. The most wonderful voice that God blessed her with. I idolized her as an 18 year old, and she was my inspiration to learn guitar and sing. Many more years, Joan! Blessings!
Report as inappropriate
leeleemacd
Love this song, but this version just doesn't make it. She isn't singing it, more like talking it. How about the version actually o;n the Diamonds and Rust Album.
Report as inappropriate
I have enjoyed both her music and her politics and I too am a military man (Vietnam vet)...
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