Joan Baez’s Birthday

Joan Baez, snapped by Allen Ginsberg backstage before Smith College concert Northampton, MA, March 1986. Joan Baez was born this day in 1941, in Staten Island New York. (courtesy: Stanford University Libraries / Allen Ginsberg Estate)

Joan Baez turns 75 today  (81 – 2022!)  – Joan Baez, peace activist, golden-throated singer, America’s conscience

Joan on Allen (in Jerry Aronson’s The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg) – “I loved what Allen did. There was something wonderfully liberating about it and wonderfully liberating about him. He was serious about other people’s lives, he was serious about ending the war in Vietnam, and Allen took risks, and was serious, and at the same time was very colorful and very crazy. and we need that,”

A female demonstrator offers a flower to military police at an anti-Vietnam War protest at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, 21 October 1967

Allen Ginsberg & Perer Orlovsky, sitting on the train tracks, Rocky Flats, Colorado, 1978, ant-nuclear protest

Tim Cahill’s piece in Rolling Stone (from February 1, 1973) – ” Joan Baez in Hanoi – 12 Days Under The Bombs

Joan Baez in Hanoi, 1972

And, six years later, May 30, 1979, Joan’s Open Letter to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – “to reaffirm your stated commitment to the basic principles of freedom and human dignity”, “to establish real peace in Vietnam”

The opening sentence from And A Voice To Sing With, her 1987 autobiography – “I was born gifted. I can speak of my gifts with little or no modesty, but with tremendous gratitude, precisely because they are gifts and not things that I created, or actions about which I might be proud.”

from 1965 Don’t Look Back (goofing around with Bob Dylan)

from 1978 (again with Dylan) in Renaldo and Clara

Jeremy Isaacs 1997 Face To Face interview (you’ll recall his insightful interview with Allen) can be seen in three parts – here, here and here

Tavis Smiley‘s 2008 interview with Joan can be seen here and here

Bob Costas 1993 interview’s here and here

and here’s an unlikely interview set-up Joan Baez and right-wing media baron, Roger Ailes

Here‘s the BBC presentation of the 2009 documentary, How Sweet The Sound

Happy 75th Birthday, Joan Baez

and today also, Beat aficianados, is Herbert Huncke‘s birthday


  1. Joan Baez. IMO, the most influential Woman of the'60's. The Evolution wouldn't have gone far without her. Just sayin'. To paraphrase Woody Guthrie, "This world was lucky to see her born."

  2. Happy Birthday, Joan Baez~ Your beautiful voice has soothed me since 1964. Remember "There But For Fortune"? … such a compassionate song. You are a beautiful person. Thank you for your positive influence. Wishing you many years of peace and joy~~ Kathleen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *