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And a Voice to Sing With: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Joan Baez
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1989
• The perfect time for a reissue: In October 2009, PBS will air a ninety-minute primetime special on Joan Baez as part of the Emmy Award-winning American Masters series. Told often from Baez’s perspective, but supported by a rich performance and historical archive, the documentary centers on her career as a musician, power as an artist, those who influenced her, and those she championed. She will also be on a 27-city U.S. tour starting July 2009..

• A musical force and a catalyst for social change: At the age of eighteen Baez was an international star with a Time magazine cover story; fifty years later she has thirty-three albums to her credit. She also marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., was jailed for supporting the draft resistance, and sang in the first Amnesty International tour. An extraordinary woman who has led an eventful life, Baez’s memoir is as honest, unpretentious, and courageous as she is. .
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From School Library Journal

YA Young rock-and-rollers at the Live Aid concert, where folksinger Joan Baez opened the festivities, told her that they were raised on her music, that their parents owned all of her albums, and that meeting her was an honor. Many will also consider reading her autobiography such an honor. Her memories of singing for Martin Luther King, for Lech Walesa and his family, at the first Newport Festival, at Woodstock, and for innumerable human rights causes are gathered together here in colorful array. Readers will gain first hand glimpses of the musical and political scenes of the '60s, '70s, and '80s. This deftly written self-portrayal will also satisfy those seeking revelations about the lives and loves of the singer. Given the lack of quality biographical material about contemporary women musicians, And a Voice to Sing With deserves a chance to be sampled by teens. Keddy Outlaw, Harris County Public Library, Houston
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Ostracized in junior high school because of her Mexican name and dark skin, Baez developed compassion for the outcast. Likewise, her Quaker upbringing was the source of her deep pacifist beliefs. So when she attained sudden fame at age 18 during the 1960s folk music revival, she didn't hesitate to mix politics and music. Her memoir describes both concert tours and political and social events that took her from Greenwich Village and Woodstock to Vietnam and Cambodia. It concludes with a backstage glimpse at the Live Aid concert. But this is also a very personal memoir with stories of parents, siblings, and friends as well as rock musicians and movie stars; it is well written and, at times, moving. Recommended. Tim LaBorie, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia, Pa.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and delicate in the personal sense. July 27 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the only "novel" I have read twice and would like to pick up again. I found the truth more fascinating and heart-warming than any good fiction! Ms. Baez's openness in sharing personal information gives the reader insight into understanding her motives/lyrics and direction. It is also interesting to "see" inside the workings of one who is trying to make a difference in the world versus personal and public views of a performer. Ms. Baez literary style displays her intelligence, forsight, and concerns. I would like to read future works by Ms. Baez reflecting, as a woman, how she acquired her aspirations and confidence...familial and/or inborn!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, intelligent, and haunting display of self April 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An excruciatingly lovely, honest portrayal of Joan Baez' life, from self-conscious childhood through more self-confident adulthood (she speaks of self demons that haunt her yet). Includes photographs of self, family, performances, and other public appearances. A professed non-reader, non afficionado of public (regimented) learning, Joan intelligently writes about non violence, her public issues, and relationships, and in doing so, encourages readers to make more of their own personal and public lives. Powers to be: Please give this woman a Grammy for all of her talent!!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars And a Voice to Sing With : A Memoir April 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An excruciatingly lovely, honest portrayal of Joan Baez' life, from self-conscious childhood through more self-confident adulthood (she speaks of self demons that haunt her yet). Includes photographs of self, family, performances, and other public appearances. A professed non-reader, non afficionado of public (regimented) learning, Joan intelligently writes about non violence, her public issues, and relationships, and in doing so, encourages readers to make more of their own personal and public lives. Powers to be: Please give this woman a Grammy for all of her talent!!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable! Jan. 24 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Honest, humorous, well written. Ms. Baez dosen't pull any punches as she shares the story of her career and escapades with her readers. If you are a Baez fan you will enjoy this book. I had no idea that Joan was such an accomplished writer. I wish she'd write more.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable! Jan. 24 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Honest, humorous, well written. Ms. Baez dosen't pull any punches as she shares the story of her career and escapades with her readers. If you are a Baez fan you will enjoy this book. I had no idea that Joan was such an accomplished writer. I wish she'd write more.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, intelligent, and haunting display of self April 21 2002
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An excruciatingly lovely, honest portrayal of Joan Baez' life, from self-conscious childhood through more self-confident adulthood (she speaks of self demons that haunt her yet). Includes photographs of self, family, performances, and other public appearances. A professed non-reader, non afficionado of public (regimented) learning, Joan intelligently writes about non violence, her public issues, and relationships, and in doing so, encourages readers to make more of their own personal and public lives. Powers to be: Please give this woman a Grammy for all of her talent!!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fly on the wall perspective on a great story June 23 2006
By kooky Kid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
She's gutsy and candid and a bit naughty- I loved this book because of it's particular insightfulness. Joan makes sure that we "get" her essence. Although only slightly familiar with her music ; I have become much more so after reading about her passion and ambition. there are some great snapshots of people; of course we see Dylan from a slightly scorned woman perspective- but tale hasn't hurt this unwashed phenomenon's career one bit. Truly engaging is hearing firsthand from Joan what it is like to be flying high ( while selling records) to being tossed around as a second stringer as the fads shift. The chapter on Live Aid is a hoot- the "latest thing" was madonna of all people. I would love to read a sequel- C'mon Joan-let's go.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting autobiography of a life well lived Nov. 24 2009
By Oldnslow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Joan Baez's music and life as an activist-pacifist make for a unique story. She is a giant in both areas. Her first ten years (the Vanguard years) likely have never been equaled by any other American folksinger--the purity of her voice(and her wonderful guitar playing) and her great taste resulted in a series of albums (at least the first 6 on Vanguard) that truly deserve classic status. Her activism, repardless of one's political bent, must be recognized and respected, and this book doesn't even chronicle her work in this regard for the last 20 years. Her writing is breezy and makes for an interesting read-- I much prefer this kind of book, even with perhaps some faults and a lack of editing, rather than some ghost written autobiography one usually encounters. For a more complete picture of Baez I suggest reading "Positively 4th Street" by David Hajdu, which expertly chronicles the unique interrelationship between the Baez sisters, Dylan, and Richard Farina in the years 1960-65. Baez pretty much skips over this aspect of her life, yet it is essential to get a whole picture of those critical years, especially since she and Dylan were such important and influential figures during that time. The recent PBS documentary on Baez is also well worth watching, as it brings you up to her current situation. An enjoyable read for Baez fans.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and delicate in the personal sense. July 27 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the only "novel" I have read twice and would like to pick up again. I found the truth more fascinating and heart-warming than any good fiction! Ms. Baez's openness in sharing personal information gives the reader insight into understanding her motives/lyrics and direction. It is also interesting to "see" inside the workings of one who is trying to make a difference in the world versus personal and public views of a performer. Ms. Baez literary style displays her intelligence, forsight, and concerns. I would like to read future works by Ms. Baez reflecting, as a woman, how she acquired her aspirations and confidence...familial and/or inborn!
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