Friday, April 12, 2013

Great Americans A to Z: Joan Baez

J is for Joan Baez who is the former darling of Bob Dylan and Steve Jobs.

Joan Baez (1941-still living!) is an American gold-selling singer and activist. Since 1958, Joan has used her music to advocate human rights and raise awareness of social and environmental issues.

Joan participated in several demonstrations during the Civil Rights movement, often singing and marching.

  • In 1963, Joan performed the song "We Shall Overcome" at the March on Washington for the creation of jobs and more freedom. 

  • In 1964, she performed the song "Birmingham Sunday" as a tribute to the four young girls who were killed in the Birmingham church bombing. 

  • In 1965, Joan participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, led by MLK. 

  • In 1966, she took a stand with Cesar Chaves and California farmers to fight for safer working conditions and fair wages. 

  • During wartime, Joan would also partner with organizations that helped to deliver Christmas mail to American prisoners of war in Vietnam. 

  • She has also performed songs of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. 

How meaningful is the music of today? 


  1. Perfect J!! I love Joan's voice! I really am enjoying your A to Z's.
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  2. The 60s must've been such an exciting time, especially here in the States. I'm sorry I missed it, from both age and place points of view.

  3. Connie, I like Joan's voice too, especially the Birmingham song and Diamonds and Rust. Belinda, I do NOT wish I was living in the '60s. For me, reading about it and hearing my grandparents stories of the struggle are sufficient! :)

  4. When I was growing up in the 60's and 70's I remember Joan Baez being all over the radio. I always enjoyed her singing and admired her demonstrable humanity, unlike many other musical artists at the time who would only pay token tribute to real civil rights. Dylan and Baez were two who actually followed through, word and deed. Great profile on her. Thank you for another enlightening choice. Cheers.

  5. What a remarkable artist. Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  6. Joan and Dylan always had meaning to their music. Even to this day.
    KaTy Did at: Life's Ride As I See It

  7. Not sure how meaningful most of the music is today. There seems to be less social consciousness than there was in the 60's and 70's. Music now mostly seems to be about having fun.

    Joan Baez has a lovely voice.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  8. I've never been a fan of her music, but have respect for her dedication to what she believes in.

  9. I am a fan, and even had a couple vinyl 45s of her music. I have a couple of CDs. Her passion nd dedication to social issues makes her rise above so many others. Good post!

  10. Here from the A-Z Challenge. I definitely do not think songs or artists today are as influential. Thanks for sharing all this info!


Chontali Kirk