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Joan Baez: Performance In A Personal Perspective


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More than three years ago a film was released on the life of Joan Baez(1941- ).  How Sweet the Sound came to television today in Tasmania.1 Baez rose to fame in 1959 when I was 15, and she only 19.  I was a person of fame, too, but only in a little town in Ontario, and nowhere else. Her first major performance was at the Newport Folk Festival, the same year I joined the Baha’i Faith.  Baez was a Quaker and a pacifist. I am not a pacifist and our forms of social activism are very different.  I have always loved her singing from her first albums which appeared in 1960, 1961, and 1962 when I was finishing high school.


In 1962, when I began my travelling-pioneering life for the Canadian Baha’i community, Baez had just begun her 2 year romance with Bob Dylan. I had no idea at the time immersed as I was in nine grade 13 subjects with their necessary four hours per night homework.  The year 1962 also saw my final baseball and ice-hockey seasons with the Burlington all-stars and in the juvenile league.  I was involved in a new Baha’i community, and was kept busy emotionally in keeping a lid on my libido.-Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., 7/4/’13.

We have a lot in common, Joan,

you and I, as we head into that

final decade of late adulthood.1


We have an autobiographical

bias to our writing……In 1987

you said:  “I was made to live

alone.”2 As the years went on

I felt, increasingly, the same.

We both had a public life for

half a century…..and you are

still going, Joan, while I have

retired into a writing life and

little public activity……few of

endless meetings, wall-to-wall

people, and none of the social

protest-popularity profile: and

you will go down in history.

I wish you well, Joan, as evening

continues to the last syllable of

our recorded time on this plain,

and we go into a hole for those

who sing and speak no more.


What say you, Joan, of the life

beyond, & that Undiscovered

Country from which no one ever

returns to tell of the story beyond?


1 Baez is 72 and I am 69. Some developmental psychologists call the years from 70 to 80, the last

decade of late adulthood.

2 Baez’s second autobiography was entitled: And a Voice to Sing With. Mine is entitled Pioneering Over Five Epochs.

Ron Price

7/4/’13 to 18/7/'13.

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