Joan’s father, Albert Baez, was born in 1912 in Puebla, Mexico.
Joan's grandfather, the Reverend Alberto Baez, left Catholicism to become a Methodist minister and moved to the U.S. when Albert was two years old.
Albert grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where his father preached to — and advocated for — a Spanish-speaking congregation.
Joan’s father considered the ministry but turned to mathematics and physics where became the co-inventor of the x-ray microscopeand author of one of the most widely used physics textbooks in the United States.
The Baez family converted to Quakerism during Joan's early childhood. She still identifies with the tradition as is plainly seen through her commitment to pacifism and social issues.
Her mother, Joan Bridge Baez was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the second daughter of an Episcopal priest.
Joan Senior and Albert quickly fell in love after meeting at a high-school dance in Madison, New Jersey. The newlyweds moved to California after their marriage.
Joan Baez - It Ain't Me, Babe (Live 1965)
Joan learned four chords on a ukulele given by a friend of Joan’s father.
Joan was soon playing rhythm and blues which was the music she was drawn to. At her aunt's behest, Baez at age eight attended a concert by folk musician Pete Seeger. She found herself strongly attracted to his music. She was now playing Pete’s music and performing publicly.
One of her very earliest public performances was at a retreat in Saratoga, California. It was for a youth group from Temple Beth Jacob, of Redwood City, California.
In 1957, Joan Baez buys her first Gibson guitar .
Backing up to 1956, Joan Baez heard Martin Luther King, Jr. speak about nonviolence, civil rights and social change which brought tears to her eyes. Several years later, the two became friends. They were later marching and demonstrating together.
This is the epitome of being an American!
This is the epitome of being your brother's keeper!
This is keeping with the Golden Rule!
This is wishing for your brothers and sisters what you would wish for yourself!
Fast-forwarding to 1963, Joan sang "We Shall Overcome", the civil-rights anthem, at King's 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, permanently linked her to the song. She would perform it many times!
She has stood on the RIGHT side!
Joan committed her first act of civil disobedience in 1957, at age 16.
She refused to leave her Palo AltoHigh School classroom in Palo Alto, California for an air-raid drill. After the bells rang, students were to make their way to their home air-raid shelters, and pretend they were surviving an atomic blast.
She believed it to be misleading government propaganda. Baez refused to leave her seat when instructed and continued reading a book.
For this act she was punished by school officials, and was ostracized by the local population for being a supposed "Communist infiltrator."
Schools are not a great place to behave idealistically or individualistically.
Joan was off to a pretty good start!
In 1958, her father moved his family to Belmont, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. accepting a faculty position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At the time, the area was the center of the up-and-coming folk-music scene. Baez began street-performing locally in Boston and nearby Cambridge.
She performed in clubs while attending BostonUniversity. She gave her first concert in 1958, at Club 47 in Cambridge.
When designing the poster for the performance, Baez considered changing her performing name but opted against it, fearing that people would accuse her of changing her last name because it was Spanish.
The audience consisted of her parents, sister, and a small group of friends making a total of eight patrons. Joan was paid ten dollars for her first gig. She was later asked back and was performing twice a week for $20 per show.
A few months later, Baez and two other folk enthusiasts were making plans to record an album in the cellar of a friend's home. It was released on Veritas Records that year as Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square.
It was 1959 Newport Folk Festival that her true professional career began. She recorded her first album for a major label, Vanguard, Joan Baez in1960.
Her second release was Joan Baez, Vol. 2 in1961 and went "gold". Also going gold was Joan Baez in Concert, Part 1 in 1962 and Joan Baez in Concert, Part 2 in 1963.
There are many accolades and events that Wikipedia and other sources can help you get caught up on. I’m skipping a lot.
In 1964 she sang "Birmingham Sunday". It was written by her brother-in-law, Richard Fariña. It was used in the opening of the movie of 1997, 4 Little Girls. The 4 Little Girls were Spike Lee's documentary film about the four young victims killed in the 1963 church bombing.
Baez joined King on his 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, singing for the marchers in the town of St. Jude, Alabama, as they camped the night before arriving in Montgomery.
She linked arms with King to protect African-American schoolchildren in Grenada, Mississippi who were trying to attend "white" schools.
She stood in the fields alongside César Chávez and California's migrant farm workers in 1966, as they fought for fair wages and safe working conditions.
She performed at a benefit on behalf of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union in December of that year.
She was at Chávez's side during his 24-day fast to draw attention to the farmworkers' struggle in 1972.
She can be seen singing, "We Shall Overcome" during that fast in the film about the UFW, "Si Se Puede" "It can be done".
In 1964, she and her mentor Sandperl founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence and encouraged draft resistance at her concerts.
Joan was arrested twice in 1967 for blocking the entrance of the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakland, California and spent over a month in jail.
She participated in anti-war marches and rallies, and protests including Fifth Avenue Vietnam Peace Parade in1966, a free concert at the WashingtonMonument in DC that was opposed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the 1969 Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam protests.
She also devoted a substantial amount of her time in the early 1970s to helping establish a U.S. branch of Amnesty International.
During the Christmas season 1972, Joan joined a peace delegation traveling to North Vietnam, both to address human rights in the region, and to deliver Christmas mail to American prisoners of war.
During her time there, she was caught in the U.S. military's "Christmas bombing" of Hanoi, North Vietnam, during which the city was bombed for eleven straight days.
I n 1973 the album, Where Are You Now, My Son?, featured a 23-minute title song which took up all of the B-side of the album.
Half spoken-word poem and half tape-recorded sounds, the song documented Baez's visit to Hanoi, North Vietnam, in December 1972, during which she and her traveling companions survived the 12-day long Christmas Bombings campaign over Hanoi and Haiphong.
Joan Baez, Diamonds and Rust - Live, 1975
Joan Baez became increasingly critical of the communist government of Vietnam and on May 30, 1979 she published a full-page advertisement in four major U.S. newspapers aimed at the human-rights violations in Cambodia that were the result of actions and inactions of the Vietnamese government.
She described the communists as having created a nightmare.
This put her at odds with a segment of the U.S. left wing, who were uncomfortable criticizing a leftist régime.
It was Joan's Vietnam's human-rights violations experiences that ultimately led her to found her own human-rights group, Humanitas International. The focus of Humanitas International was to target oppression wherever it occurred. It was to criticize right and left-wing régimes equally.
Joan Baez was prevented from performing in Chile, Brazil and Argentina as she “toured” in 1981. It was out of the fear of her criticism of their human-rights practices. The fear was that her message would reach mass audiences if she were given a podium. She was surveiled and subjected to death threats while there. There but for Fortune is a film about the ill-fated tour and was shown on PBS in 1982.
After the Tienanmen Square Massacre Baez wrote and released the song China in 1989. This was to condemn the Chinese Communist Party for its bloody slaughter of thousands of student protesters. The students were calling for the establishment of a democratic republicanism.
Baez assisted in an effort to take food and medicine into the western regions of Cambodia in a second trip to Southeast Asia. Joan participated in a United Nations Humanitarian Conference on Kampuchea.
Baez received the Distinguished Leadership Award On July 17, 2006. This was from the Legal Community Against Violence. They honored her for her lifetime of work against violence of all kinds at their annual dinner event.
On Earth Day 1999, Baez and Bonnie Raitt honored environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill with Raitt's Arthur M. Sohcot Award in person on her 180-foot-high redwood treetop platform. Hill had camped there to protect ancient redwoods in the HeadwatersForest from logging.
War in Iraq
In early 2003, Baez performed at two rallies of hundreds of thousands of people in San Francisco protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq as she had earlier done before smaller crowds in 1991 to protest the Gulf War.
In August 2003, Joan joined Emmylou Harris and Earle in London, U.K., at the Concert For a Landmine-Free World.
Joan joined Michael Moore's "Slacker Uprising Tour" in the summer of 2004. This went to American college campuses to encourage young people to get out and vote for peace candidates in the upcoming national election.
Baez appeared at the Texas anti-war protest that had been started by Cindy Sheehan in August 2005.
Being anti-war is patriotic! It's patriotic to save lives!
It's really okay to resist evil, killing, etc!
Joan Baez continues today to be one of the best Americans this country has ever seen.
She is one of the best Americans for ALL of the AMERICAS!
She has had an inborn passion for compassion for her brothers and sisters ALL over the world!
Joan Baez is very passionate about compassion for all Americans and God's people everywhere.
She has put her health, welfare, her life on the line for God's will!
God's will? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Joan Baez - Forever Young
Joan Baez - Where have All The Flowers Gone
Joan Baez - the true patriot!
I'm Marine and was at the DMZ in 68 & 69.
Joan Baez is a great American.
I can't say that about Kissinger, McNamara, Westmoreland, and others for lying about the Gulf of Tonkin "incident" and just oodles of other stuff.
Joan Baez - With God on Our Side (Live 1966)
Joan Baez - Amazing Grace (Live)
Joan Baez - Sagt Mir Wo Die Blumen Sind
Joan Baez - Brothers In Arms -1988- (Dire Straits Cover)
Joan Baez exemplifies what humanity should strive for!
She cares for people she will never know.
She is everything to love and be in love with.
It would be a joy to carry her guitar.
Perhaps- I could wash her feet.
Perhaps- I could sleep at the foot of her bed,
just to keep her feet warm,
on a cold night!
Joan Baez has, indeed, kept the faith!
God bless you Ma'am!
"Joan Baez, Let's Celebrate Her!"
At sixteen they called her "Communist infiltrator."
To some an agitator. She is indeed a liberator,
A gladiator, an instigator, an orator, generator,
Incorporator, investigator, mediator, moderator,
Narrator, spectator, translator,
Ventilator, insulator, and above all- an educator!
She is not a procrastinator. She is not a spectator.
She might even despise a dictator!
Joan Chandos Baez! Let’s celebrate her!
I would love to write a poem for Joan Baez.
Maybe I'll try.
It would not come close to being good enough.
It would take forever!
How could it be complete?
It would be an epic.
Forgive me as I whack this out off the top of my head.
My God Bless Joan Baez!
She was surely seeking the meek,
When she heard Reverend King speak!
She must have stayed up nights,
Thinking of social change and civil rights!
Her eyes filled with tears!
She forgot her own fears.
Joan began before her prime!
Joan devoted more than a lifetime.
Joan could not stand by,
Wring her hands and sigh!
That message brought her tears
She forgot about her fears.
She took it to her own heart.
Compassion led her from the start!
Cause after cause she stood so tall!
She spoke for the poor, one and all!
Armed with beauty and a Gibson guitar,
She could have been another rock star!
Surely Satan said “Just follow me,
I’ll make you rich and carefree, I guarantee.”
But Joan said, “No way, we have our eyes on the prize.
No Dr. Evil, I’m not believing your lies.
I’ll try to lock you up, if, God’s will, I can,
I know the Golden Rule and I’ll raise up my fellow man!”
I’ll join all the fights for different plights,
I’m fighting oppression and for human rights!
On quieter waters she could have set sail
She held her line, paid a fine, even went to jail.
She could have gone far in being a star,
And yes, while I went off to the Vietnam War,
It was I that should have had a different role.
Joan Baez fought the good fight for every soul!
Stop, look, and pray and you will find,
She’ll never stop fighting for all of mankind.
Yes, I've been to Nam
As a United States Marine,
But Joan is one of the best fighting souls,
This Marine has ever seen.
Perhaps, she would never hurt a fly,
But the patriot's patriot is what she will exemplify!
There is nowhere on earth she wouldn't go,
Because she loves everyone, she doesn't know!
Joan Baez - The Green Green Grass Of Home
Obeying the Golden Rule is THE law of God! Joan excels at it!
How about some musical autobiographies by Coolmon!
These hubs just below belong to Coolmon and she has done an incredible job!
So check out some great music and study up:
Joan Baez & Mercedes Sosa "Gracias A La Vida"
JOAN BAEZ "Natalia Gorbanevskaya"
One of the saddest stories ever told is this of "Natalia Gorbanevskaya!"
Please, listen if you have the time,
or please return,
or bookmark the video on the youtube URL.
There are so many videos available on youtube for Joan Baez.
But so many songs are missing there or hard to "bring up".
If you see a good deal on the album "From Every Stage" buy it!
It will have a large collection of her greatest and clearest works.
Among them will be the acoustic piano with Joan's rendition of "Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" written by Dylan.
It will have "Natalia Gorbanevskaya" as well!