Joan Baez and Judy Collins, My Favorite '60's Folksingers
Joan Baez and Judy Collins: My Two Favorite Folk Musicians
Two of my favorite female folk singers when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's were Joan Baez and Judy Collins. I had many of their albums and still have the song books of both of these folk musicians.
I grew up listening to a lot of great folk music, since both my mother and my father were interested in folk music. My mother bought albums of various folk groups and my father sang folk songs while accompanying himself on his guitar (ah, such wonderful memories!).
In the late '50's and early '60's we listened to The Kingston Trio, The Chad Mitchell Trio, and The Weavers. Later we enjoyed Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Simon and Garfunkel, and a little later still, John Denver.
But in my early teens, my friends and I also developed our own taste in folk musicians, including a handful of female folk singers such as Judy Collins and Joan Baez. I bought their songbooks and learned how to play simple guitar chords, and got together with my friends to sing the songs of these wonderful musicians.
Image of Joan Baez in 1973, by Heinrich Klaffs, CC Share-alike, 2.0.
Folk Musician Joan Baez
As well as being a folk singer, Joan Baez is also a songwriter and an activist. Many of her songs have been about social issues such as non-violence, civil rights, and the environment. But she's also sung many beautiful ballads.
According to Wikipedia.com, Joan Baez has been singing for over 50 years now. She began her recording career in 1960, performed three songs at Woodstock (1969), and helped to popularize the songs of Bob Dylan.
I had the pleasure of attending a couple of her concerts in the 1980s.
Image of folk musicians Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in 1963. Public Domain photo
Joan Baez is still singing and performing, and she looks and sounds great!
Joan is on the list of 2011 inductees to the Grammy Hall of Fame, which was "created to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old."
You can check the Joan Baez Official Website to read more information about her, including a full bio, and her current tour schedule.
Diamonds and Rust -- Live, 1975
This has grown to be one of my favorite songs written and sung by Joan Baez. Her voice is very pure and beautiful.
Click for lyrics to Diamonds and Rust on her website.
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Another favorite of mine sung by Joan Baez. The lyrics tell about the last days of the American Civil War.
See lyrics of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Joan Baez Song Downloads
The two songs featured in the videos above are Joan Baez's top-selling songs. You can buy them through Amazon.com as MP3 downloads.
Joan Baez Songbook
I was surprised to find that the Joan Baez songbook is still in print! I still have my old copy somewhere around the house, although it's quite old and worn-out. I think it was first published in the late1960s.
This book contains 66 songs from Joan's early repertoire, along with historical and musical commentary.
Folk Musician Judy Collins
Judy Collins started out playing piano at a young age, but turned to folk music and playing guitar in her late teens, being inspired by folk musicians Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. She released her first album in 1961 at the age of 22.
Judy Collins started out by singing songs of other folk musicians of the time, such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. She helped bring other up-and-coming singer/songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan into the limelight by singing and recording their songs. In the later 1960s, she also began recording her own songs.
Like Joan Baez and other folk singers of that time, Judy Collins was also interested in social activism. She supported Che Guevara, and sympathized with the Yippie movement (not the Yuppie movement!...)
I heard Judy Collins in concert in the mid-1970s as part of our college homecoming celebration. Her singing was exquisite.
Judy Collins still continues to sing in concerts around the world. She remains a very elegant-looking woman.
You can read more about Judy Collins, including her bio and her concert schedule on the Judy Collins Website
Flikr.com Image of Judy Collins in 2009 by sjrowe53, CC 2.0
Judy Collins -- Suzanne
It was this song, Suzanne, that made Judy Collins one of my favorite female folk-singers. I love this song! It's written by Leonard Cohen, and I love his rendition of it also.
For a high school class English assignment, in which we were supposed to creatively share something that we liked with the rest of the class, I sang this song while playing my guitar. That was my only "public" performance, but it was received relatively well :-)
Judy Collins -- Both Sides Now
I think I heard Judy Collin's version of Both Sides Now before I heard it sung by Joni Mitchell, who wrote the song. Both are beautiful renditions of the song. My friends and I worked on memorizing the words to Both Sides Now on our way up to summer camp when the song had just come out in 1968 or 1969. Judy Collins recorded the song before Joni Mitchell did.
Judy Collins Song Downloads
You can buy MP3 downloads of the songs in the Judy Collins videos shown above:
- Both Sides Now