Joan Baez

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Biography of

Joan Baez

Joan Baez biography, Biography of Joan Baez, career, films, awards

life of Joan Baez, know all about Joan Baez

    Anirban Sengupta
    Anirban Senguptawrote on 17 Jan 2012

    Joan Baez was the middle daughter of Albert Vinicio and Joan Bridge Baez. At age 10, her father took a job (and the family) to Baghdad, Iraq, for a year, after which they moved to Palo Alto, CA, home of Stanford University. In 1956, she bought her first guitar and heard Martin Luther King, Jr.'s lecture on nonviolence; the following year, she heard Ira Sandperl, a Gandhian scholar, who also influenced her strongly. She graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1958, failed with a demo album, and move the next year to Massachusetts where her father had taken a teaching position at MIT. She performed at Club 47, a folk music club in Cambridge, and participated in an album "Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square". The same year, she met Odetta and Bob Gibson while she was performing at Chicago's The Gate Of Horn. Bob invited her to perform July 11 at the Newport Folk Festival, which launched her fame as a folksinger. Her first album for Vanguard, "Joan Baez" (1960), was a huge success. The following year, she met Bob Dylan and released her second very successful album, followed the year later by many southern civil-rights performances and "Joan Baez in Concert" (a Grammy nominee). She launched a tax revolt as part of her protest of the Vietnam war, protested Pete Seeger's exclusion by ABC-TV, and joined in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley and the civil rights march in Selma AL. In 1967, she spent two brief periods in jail for anti-war protests. In 1969, she gave birth to Gabriel Earl while his father, David Harris, was serving 20 months of a three year sentence for draft resistance. In 1971, her songs were featured in the films Sacco & Vanzetti (1971) (aka Sacco And Vanzetti) and "Celebration At Big Sur". A 1974 world tour included Japan, Australia, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia and Argentina. The 1978 film Renaldo and Clara (1978) featured her performances in Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tours. In 1980, Antioch University and Rutgers University awarded her the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for her music and her activism. Next year, PBS aired the documentary "There But For Fortune: Joan Baez in Latin America". The albums, causes and concerts continue, far too numerous to list here.