Joan Baez (b. 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and activist. Baez was one of the most notable protest singers of the 1960s, standing against the Vietnam War
and supporting the Civil Rights Movement
and environmentalism. Though her own songwriting skills have been praised, she is mainly regarded as an interpreter of others' works, most prominently those of Bob Dylan
(with whom she had a close personal and musical relationship in the early '60s).
Baez's music is fairly varied, ranging from folk to country to pop. Her best-known song is likely 1975's "Diamonds & Rust", a nostalgic reflection on Baez's failed relationship with Dylan. It was notably covered by Judas Priest
on their album Sin after Sin
Tropes associated with Joan Baez include:
- Author Tract: Much of Baez's songwriting, particularly in the '60s and '70s, can be seen as dipping into this.
- Christmas Songs: Her 1966 album NoŽl, which features traditional carols arranged by Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q Bach).
- Cover Version: Her entire career has been built around these. Of special note is her cover of The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", which became her first and only Top 10 pop single in 1971.
- Folk Music
- Hidden Depths: Baez is a good impressionist, as demonstrated in her appearance in The Muppet Show.
- Protest Song: Many. "There But for Fortune" and "What Have they Done to the Rain?" are two of the better-known examples.
- Take That: "To Bobby", from 1972's Come from the Shadows, chides Dylan for his abandonment of political songwriting and activism.
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: Her song "Altar Boy and the Thief" centers around a gay bar.
- Woodstock: Baez headlined the first night of the famous 1969 festival.