Manage episode 374297859 series 1755539
Of all the groundbreaking musicians to come out of the ‘60s, few were as engaged socially and politically as Joan Baez. A lifelong proponent of non-violent activism, Joan marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has continued to advocate for non-violent, civil disobedience ever since.
With the release of her debut album in 1960, Joan Baez became the preeminent female folkie. With just her exquisite soprano and her guitar, she reworked classic American folk songs and eventually wrote songs that helped fuel her activism. By the time she helped launch Bob Dylan’s career by inviting him on stage with her in the early ‘60s, Joan was already an international sensation.
In 2019, after a career that spanned nearly six decades, Joan announced she was no longer performing live. In recent years, she’s turned her creative attention to visual art. Her new book of drawings titled “Am I Pretty When I Fly” features sketches rooted in humor, freedom, and sorrow. But, in classic Joan Baez style, her drawings defy convention—they were all drawn upside down.
On today’s episode you’ll hear a live conversation Justin Richmond had with Joan Baez at the Chicago Humanities Festival in May. Joan spoke about the emotional catharsis she finds in drawing. She also talked about juggling music and activism as a young artist, and what happened when she handed over access to her personal storage unit to a group of documentary filmmakers who are making a movie about her life. And despite giving up live performance, she took a moment to serenade the crowd all with her beloved voice.
You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Joan Baez songs HERE.
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