The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (283): Joan Baez, 80 today

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (283): Joan Baez, 80 today


norman lebrecht

January 09, 2021

From the soundtrack of our lives:


  • Herr Doktor says:

    Happy Birthday, Joan! I’ve preferred her voice as it has aged rather than the younger version with its crazy vibrato. I love what she stands for and how she’s tried to make the world a better place. She’s an artist in the best sense of the word!

  • Patricia says:

    So? Did she suddenly start singing Mozart?

    • Liz Thomson says:

      Have you actually listened to her voice – to her performance if Bachianas Brasilieras/5 for example? Read my biography, Joan Baez The Last Leaf. You might learn something.

      • Stephen Farley says:

        You said it perfectly. For an “untrained” voice that brazilian aria sung be joan on her 5th album is my favorite and tells us everything we would ever care to know about the voice of baez. A magnificent piece of work with many more to follow

  • Nijinsky says:

    Good to hear something that’s sweeter than the Gold Rush, not long enough ago in Caliphornia, apparently. What you don’t know is that Josquin had a grand daughter, I was told, and she got all the way there, but what would be left over for her? And how many dirty old men would it take to accomplish that before refrigeration, or check Allende’s account….

    As I said, it’s good to hear something sweeter than the Gold Rush. Have a nice day…. Come back soon…..

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Happy birthday, Ms. Baez. Stay safe and healthy!

  • Louise Hynd says:

    Beautiful singing.

  • ramonsaintramon says:

    Hello dear joan, it has been many years i have loved and enjoyed your beautiful singing. In the 70s and 80s, i used to visit your mom while you all lived in carmel valley. A few years ago i sent you a stack of maail ypur mother had written ti me. Great memories. Hapoy birthday my lady

  • Josee says:

    Joan Baez one of the all time greatest singers Happy Birthday.Stay safe God bless u a very grateful fan Joxx

  • Roni says:

    Happy Birthday Joan keep going loved your voice since I was sixteen. Roni
    Love and light

  • Jean Foley says:

    Happy Birthday Joan,
    You’ve been an inspiration all my life.
    Love and best wishes

  • Sara says:

    Happy Birthday Joan. A great artist and a wonderful human being. Love you Joan.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Every good wish to Joan Baez on her birthday. It doesn’t seem possible that it is the 80th. I too remember Bachianas Brasilieras, accompanying yourself on the guitar that it is an explodedd version of, and Mimi, and Richard Farina who wrote “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me”, who disappeared April 30, 1966, in the motorcycle accident in Big Sur on Mimi’s 21st birthday. You both went on. Life goes on.

    • jiminboston says:

      Joan did not accompany herself on the guitar when recording the Villa-Lobos. She was accompanied by 8 cellos conducted by Maurice Abravanel.

  • Gregory Mowery says:

    Joan Baez was my first soprano crush. I love her recording of the Bachianas Brasilieros. She has remained a compelling singer in all the phases of her long career, from the pure soprano of her young folk years and through her years when the top was not so pure. She developed the strength of her middle and lower ranges. Nobody sang Dylan as beautifully or as expressively as Joan Baez. Happy Birthday!

  • John Dawson says:

    Happy Birthday Joan, my first L P, Farewell Angelina, 1965 .had them all since. Stay safe , love you

  • Angelika Krins says:

    You are so wonderfull
    A great woman for peace and all people
    I love you

  • Steve Bauman says:

    Happy Birthday, dear lady. I have had a crush on you from 1959 on. Still do. Your poignant singing of English ballads such as Lady Hamilton, Wee Geordie, Mattie Groves, etc., are absolutely unmatched and unequaled to this day. Your pure and sweet voice singing the grim horrific verses of these ballads – unmatched.

    Your civil service work is another of your wonderful facets. You’ve accomplished so many great things, one of which was your marching for civil rights on several occasions.

    I note also that you are an honorary member of the Jussi Björling Society, and so for that, you can’t be all bad!

    Con amore.
    Steve B

  • Debbie S. says:

    Happy Birthday. I am so thrilled I got to see you in St. Petersburg, FL many years ago. I have listened to you for years, and have been my go to artist forever. You & Bobby made great music too btw.

  • +Lu Sonnergren says:

    Ah, Joan. Your lovely voice and inspiring work in the cause of injustice have accompanied me through ups and downs of my life for nearly sixty years now. You have always meant so much to me and my worldview. Thank you GREAT BIG. Now you impress us with your lovely paintings, too. Happy birthday, dear heart. I know we haven’ t heard the last of you as you “bash on, regardless” but, for now, enjoy your “you-time”. Blessings!

  • Ann Marie Schindler says:

    Happy Birthday Joan! loved seeing ❤you sing in Charlottesville VA with the Indigo girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter and I play and sing on guitar! love your heartfelt vocals and harmony

  • Kevin O’Brien says:

    My wife and I (me in my 60s she in her late 50s) often break out in a spontaneous duet of “Diamonds and Rust” whenever it pops up on Pandora. Such wonderful lyrics about love gone by (“then gimme another word for it, you who’re so good with words and at keeping things vague”). Love you Joan—gracias a la vida!

  • Kevin says:

    You have been singing to my heart
    for 50 years.
    Love K

  • G K Sinha says:

    Happy birthday Joan. I have been an ardent fan of your singing for last three decades. Thanks for your wonderful contribution to music.