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Joan Baez

Photos: From AA's personal collection, a signed cover of "The Complete Gold Castle Masters", written to Alan, from Joan. Featuring commentary from Arthur Levy. 

About Joan

Joan Baez was the most important artist to rise from the folk music movement that first blossomed in the late 1950s and early '60s. Baez was also the finest and most influential interpretive singer in contemporary folk; blessed with a soprano voice of uncommon clarity, her performances were emotionally compelling without resorting to histrionics. Early on, she recorded striking renditions of classic folk standards, as on her 1960 debut album Joan Baez, while later she would help popularize the work of songwriters such as Bob DylanPhil Ochs, and Richard Fariña; songs by all three appeared on 1964's Joan Baez 5.


Her early recordings were austere acoustic sessions, but in time she would learn to work effectively with a band, as well as adding her own songs to her repertoire, and the title track to 1975's Diamonds & Rust, a biographical recollection of her relationship with Dylan, would prove to be one of her most enduring hits. Baez would become nearly as well-known for her political activism as her music, lending her talent and media profile to a long list of progressive causes from the early stages of her career to her farewell concert tour in 2019.


And while Baez is best remembered by many for her work in the '60s, she continued to release strong and committed music well into the 21st century, including albums like 2003's Dark Chords on a Big Guitar, 2008's Day After Tomorrow, and 2018's Whistle Down the Wind.

Annotations from "Joan Baez: The Last Leaf" on collaborating with 
Alan Abrahams

Written by: Elizabeth Thomson

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