American Folk singer/songwriter Joan Baez is celebrating her birthday today !!
Beyond the fact that she shares the same birthday as guitarist Jimmy Page (about whom we wrote a separate review today), she has a direct connection to the initial connection between Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
This connection was created around the song "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" performed by Joan Baez in 1962.
When Jimmy Page heard Baez's interpretation of the song he immediately fell in love with it and began to develop his own version of the song based on Baez's version, long before "Led Zeppelin" back when he was a young session player.
The two integrated the hard rock parts between the verses into the song. It was the twist that gave the song the added value that made it memorable.
This is not Baez's only connection to Hard Rock and Metal. "Judas Priest" decided to perform a cover version of the song "Diamonds & Rust" which she wrote about her relationship with Bob Dylan. "Judas Priest" recorded the song for the album "Sin After Sin", which was released in 1977. The song became a fan favorite in band live performances. Singer Rob Halford noted that the reason for recording the excellent cover version of the song, was to flirt with the American audience in an attempt to break into the US.
But that is not all. Baez performed and released other songs that would later be adopted by well-known rock bands, including: "House Of the Rising Sun" performed by "The Animals", "Jackaroe" performed by "The Grateful Dead, "John Riley" performed by "The Byrds", "Long Black Veil" by "The Band" and more...
And now here are some really interesting facts about the "Queen of the Folk":
1. She was born on January 9, 1941, in Staten Island, New York, as Joan Chandos Baez.
2. She met Bob Dylan in 1961 and helped to launch his career.
3. At the age of 41 she started dating Steve Jobs who is familiar to us from the "Apple" company. He was only 27 years old and a die-hard fan of Dylan.
4. She was a tough civil rights fighter. Already at the age of 33, she led the audience in Martin Luther King's 'We Shall Overcome' march. King knew how to give Baez his own gesture when he visited her at the prison after she was arrested due to blocking the entrance to a military base in Auckland.
5. She performed at the legendary Woodstock Festival when she was pregnant with her then-husband David Harris, who was in prison at the time following his refusal to enlist in the military.
6. She is fluent in several languages and even recorded an album in Spanish, dedicated to a people in Chile who suffered under the arm of Augusto Pinochet.
7. Proof of Baez's mastery of languages can be found in her rendition of Si Hi-man's song "Yoryim ouBo'Hyim"Do not believe? Listen Here:
8. In 2007 she received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
9. In 2017 she was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame".
10. She has released 25 studio albums to date, the last of which is in 2018.