September 24th, 2009
Joan Baez
How Sweet the Sound

THIRTEEN’s American Masters explores fifty years of folk legend and human rights activist Joan Baez in Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, airing October 14 on PBS.

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Features rare performance footage and candid interviews with David Crosby, Bob Dylan, ex-husband David Harris, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Roger McGuinn, and more

Joan Baez made her debut appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. Fifty years later she returned to that same Rhode Island stage on August 2, marking her and the festival’s 50th anniversaries. She is presently on a worldwide tour in celebration of her 50 years as a performer and in support of her Grammy-nominated CD, Day After Tomorrow.

In the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the private life and public career of Joan Baez, American Masters examines her history as a recording artist and performer as well as her remarkable journey as the conscience of a generation in Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, premiering nationally Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). The film coincides with the DVD/CD release on October 13th on Razor & Tie. This DVD/CD will feature the film with bonus content and an audio CD of music from the film. The audio CD contains rare live performances and studio recordings that span her career.

“From an early age, Joan Baez had the courage of her convictions,” says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters, a six-time winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series. “Her artistry and her commitment to human rights make her a musical and political force as relevant today as when she first started.”

Following Baez on her 2008/2009 world tour, the filmmakers captured Baez in performance as well as in intimate conversations with individuals whose lives parallel hers. From a stop in Sarajevo, Bosnia to revisit the scene of Joan’s courageous trip to that war-torn city in the middle of the 1993 siege, to Nashville, Tennessee, where she joined Steve Earle to talk about their collaboration on Joan’s 2008 Grammy-nominated album Day After Tomorrow, the film allows viewers an unprecedented level of access to Ms. Baez.

Shot in high definition with a natural, filmic look, Joan is also joined on screen by, David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn and Reverend Jesse Jackson, among others, to illuminate this extraordinary life. Rich historical archival footage – Baez’ controversial visit to North Vietnam, where she is seen praying with the residents of Hanoi during the heaviest bombing of the war; Martin Luther King Jr. outside a California prison where he visited Joan to offer his support after she was jailed for staging a protest; Joan at her first Newport Folk Festival in 1959 and Joan as a teenager performing at the historic Club 47 – is woven into the story so viewers can experience scenes from Joan’s life that have never been uncovered.

The grit of the film is Baez’ power as a musician – from her tentative teenage years in the Cambridge, Mass coffee houses to her emergence onto the world stage and the 50-year career that followed – Joan Baez is a musical force of nature and this film captures her strength as a performer and the influence she has brought to bear on successive generations of artists.

Related: watch Joan Baez perform her rendition of Pete Seeger’s classic “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” for the crowd at Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Madison Square Garden, presented by GREAT PERFORMANCES.

Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound is a co-production Razor & Tie Entertainment and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG. The film is produced by Mark Spector and Mary Wharton and directed by Wharton. Susan Lacy is the series creator and executive producer of American Masters.

American Masters is produced for PBS by THIRTEEN. To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories, and personalities of masters past and present, the companion Web site ( offers interviews, essays, photographs, outtakes, and other resources. American Masters is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Jack Rudin, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, and public television viewers. Additional funding for Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound is provided by The Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation.

  • G. Gagnon

    I’m not so sure this is the first documentary about Joan Baez. I was involved with a previous 60-90min documentary for PBS that was produced c.1987? (I still have a copy of it on U-matic.) I believe WEDH (Conn. Public Broadcasting) was the presenting station. Or possibly WGBY. We did online editing at WEDH but much else through WGBY.

    Did the producers of this current film know about this earlier production? Did anyone contact the producer-director of that earlier film? I’m not sure who still owns the copyright, but I’m curious to see if any of the interviews/performances from that earlier film made it into this newer version. AND it is definately NOT the first doc on JB for PBS. Sorry.

  • bobf

    Wasn’t there also a documentary in 1969, “Carry It On,” that PBS apparently never aired because it was too critical, from a radical pacifist perspective, of the U.S. military-industrial-media complex and its foreign policy of permanent war and institutionalized militarism?

  • david hoffman

    She also played a major role in my documentary, Sing Sing Thanksgiving, produced in 1974 and included a concert at Sing Sing with Joan and her sister Mimi. No one making this new documentary ever contacted me.

  • martha g luke

    Thank you Joan Baes and PBS. It is so fantastic to know that not all of us sold out to $ in our generation. I am fortunate that I have continued my part, if not to the degree I should. I am 53 yrs old and not onder the grownd jet. My last child will be going of to college next year and my work for the people begins, with an other hole generation. My kids will join me for one sumer in feed the children. After that I would have given them all they need to go on in the life. They are world travelers but this time is to see the real world. I will continue to do my part 3 month a year over seas where I can do my best.
    Thank you Joan for your beutiful hart and gift of music that reminds us it is not over jet. Thank you PBS for your part in bringing us what we need to see. The fight or shall I say the jurney of help and keeping our harts open to the need of change continues and sadly will continue for all of our life time. Again thank you for the reminder.

  • Dan Cook

    Will Joan’s special in on at any other time or one of the other 8 channels such as 8.2 or 8.3?

  • dj Savannah~Rose

    What A Lady !!!!! What A Legend !!!!!!!!
    Thank you Joan Baez for your contribution to music and humanity…”What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love”….

  • Mary Irvine

    I recall something that I think was PBS from around the times that David was to be arrested, a big party and someone, perhaps Joan herself saying, “You can have him, if you can find him.” She spoke of her war tax resistance also.
    Also, at a later date (?) there was some footage of her work with Amnesty International maybe, and at least she was speaking about Central America and Mothers of the Martyr’d, and people who had disappeared some found dead and others stilll missing or in prison.

  • Alitimmins

    Timely topic. Excellent subject matter. Exceptional individual – transcendent. I’m thrilled that American Masters has seen this light.

  • John McD.

    At long last! Those of us who’ve followed Joan Baez’ career (some since her beginning 50 years ago at the Newport Folk Festival) have watched her evolve into a legend in the folk music genre, an iconic figure with unparalleled skills as singer/songwriter, musician, and interpreter of some of the most beautiful and evocative folk, country, blues and rock songs ever written. We’ve bought her albums, then her cassettes, then her cd’s, but we’ve also watched, listened and read about her efforts on behalf of the most vulnerable, war torn, disenfranchised and persecuted throughout the world.

    Joan has stood with only her guitar and her clear, luminous voice braving dictators and bullies, military henchmen and bigoted thugs who would try to silence her from speaking or singing, determined to bring comfort and solace where she could, and hope and inspiration where she might. She has sung, marched, written about and simply been present at some of the seminal events of the past century; she has seen the triumphs and tragedies close up.

    And finally this remarkable life has been documented with a depth befitting the woman who has quite rightfully become known as the Queen of Folk! It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here at last…THANK YOU, Joan Baez, PBS and the producers and filmmakers for this wonderful tribute!

  • Ken Pidcock

    Early in the work are several performances recorded in Joan Baez Ballad Book, a wonderful collection of English ballads, which is not currently available. That is a sin, and if anybody in this thread has any knowledge of the copyright/contract issues involved in this, I hope they are working to break through them.

  • Siobhan Meow

    I’m pretty disgusted with PBS foisting this trust fund brat baez as an American Master! She never suffered any of the real hardships of the oppressed classes in her pampered rich brat life! Talk about your original Poseur!

    National Lampoon pegged her right on the money with their parody of her singing “Pull the triggers, N*****s, we’re with you all the way, just across the bay”!

    I really doubt anyone would have heard of her at all if mommie and daddie hadn’t supported her “revolutionary”, “avant garde” lifestyle. But then, that’s the American Way isn’t it? Only the monied brahmans’ “art” is celebrated, after it is stolen from the lower classes by their silver spoon slumming imbecile offspring!

    Screw you, PBS, for not telling the whole, true story about this phony!

  • Bob S.

    We lived through those years and watching Ms. Baez in this production makes me want to scream out loud much as she said at the Viet Name Memorial Wall. How blessed are we to have experienced her unflinching pacificism as the nation convulsed in its domestic and international throes of hatred and war. God is God and God bless Joan Baez.

  • Bob Sallavanti

    Watching your presentation tonight on PBS on Joan Baez made me grateful for the memories of the years in which she has sung and stood for human rights and peace. Her unflinching striving for these causes in her songs and actions in pacifist mode makes one realize how much she contributed to these causes against social, political and personal pressures that were indeed astronomical. The presentation was fantastic and brought back memories of our nation’s battles foreign and domestic and how some were overcome and advanced upon and how some are yet unresolved. Much as Ms. Baez noted her experience when when she visited the Viet Nam Memorial wall, I wanted to scream aloud. We are fortunate indeed to have had her in our midst. Gog is God and may God bless Joan Baaez.

  • Deb A.

    She is definately a woman who deserves nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Penny Mitchell

    On a warm spring afternoon in 1961 I heard a voice coming from the room across the hall – and what a voice! I sat in my friend’s room for 2 hours, listening to Joan Baez for the first time. Later that year (or was it the next?) I was privileged to hear her in person on our campus, and became enchanted and amazed and inspired by what I saw and heard. Joan Baez has continued to enchant and amaze and inspire me for the last 48 years. Her voice and her songs were the themes that underlay my college years (1960-64), that accompanied my children’s youth, and that bring tears and joy to me still. Thank you for a wonderful retrospect of a woman whose courage and beliefs have made her the inspiration she continues to be. She is the best image of what we proto-baby boomers were then and are today.
    Thank you, Joan, for all you have given.

  • gopher

    It was a great show, except for the occasional editing of words with beeps. I wanted to hear what she had to say. It is time to stop editing things like it was George Orwell’s doublespeak.

  • tim mcnatt

    a wonderful documentary about a wonderful lady !

  • john K

    Good as the current PBS doc is, I feel the younger audience has only caught a glimpse of the life, songs, connections and impact of Joan B. Gagnon & Hoffman comments above hint of valuable data that should be shared and made available to larger audiences. We missed the Cesear Chavez, Mercedes Sosa, & larger connection to Hispanic struggle and music, not to mention more of the power of the songs.

  • George Elliot

    John McD was most eloquent in his praise and I join him in thanking PBS for bringing this wonderful documentary into my home and heart. Joan Baez is simply an amazing woman, and although I have always loved her music, I now can say I love the woman! You rock, girl!

  • I cried listening to Joan Baez. She’s from my time and I’m in awe of what she has accomplished for human rights.

    Thank you pbs. for honoring this woman of tremendous courage and artistic accomplishment.

  • Blanche Cowell

    What a wonderful treat, a voice so clean and pure and a life with such purpose and meaning. I have followed her career and seen the path she has taken to speak out for peace, non-violent protest,equal rights, amnesty. A true musician and humanitarian. A gift to us all.

  • Michael Honigberg

    Deeply moving and beautifully done documentary on Joan Baez and her music. Cried many times watching it thinking how honest and creative she has always been. If it is at all possible I would love, and probably many others too, to see more about the Rolling Thunder Tour. But my heart and mind go out to writer, film crew and all involved in this beautiful and deeply moving production. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Blanche Cowell

    What a treat for the eyes and ears. A voice so clear and pure. I have followed Joan’s career and her involvement in civil rights, non-violent protest, and the atrocities of war. A life well lived, a true humanitarian. Thanks for the music and for everything you acomplished in your humanitarian works.

  • mike pavilon

    As a vietam era draft resistor who lived in Canada
    in 1969 only to return to the USA and get convicted,serve in the “national interest” for 3 yrs…I was influenced greatly by Joan Baez at that
    time. I’ve always felt she had an incredible voice and talent for musical lyrics…now I feel I’ve gotten to understand – and respect differently – a
    mature woman who influenced my life and my friends lives…Thank you PBS.

  • geoffrey d.

    Joan Baez, perhaps more than any other figure, remains today the voice and soul of our generation. Decades after Vietnam, Woodstock, peace and love, flower children and protest songs, long after Dylan has gone quiet and civil disobedience has dropped out of fashion–she continues to make her music and to stand up bravely against war and famine and on behalf of peace and right and children everywhere. God bless you, Joan Baez–the world is better for your songs, your soul and your truths.

  • Steven Carter

    Hear-hear for the last comment which so eloquently makes the case that Joan Baez has something to teach us all in addition to gifting us with her angelic voice. If only we can learn from the words chosen by divine grace and given voice by this remarkable person. Perhaps the vision encapsulated in her songs will carry us all to the promised land. Thank you Joan and to all those that contributed.

  • Ron Perez

    In the past, in the now and in the future, you have been in our lives. We thank you for the 50 joyous years we have known you for your courage and your songs. We feel like you’re part of our family.
    Bless you and your family,
    Ron & Gordon

  • seattlady

    Thank you PBS. Been a huge fan from the very first album. I learned to play guitar and sing and join protest groups. She is the best. We are now the same age, but she still has that great voice and I don’t! But I still listen to all the albums that I will cherish forever.

  • Jane Broff

    When will you show the Joan Baez program aired on 10/14/2009 at 8pm. I love her and just found out that I missed this program. Thanks/

  • Boe Beauchamp

    Thank you for shinning a light on Joan Baez and her gift. In watching this episode, I am not only reminded of an era but also of a life in which I would have done better to hold her hand as she carried herself with integrity. Joan will undoubtedly remain an inspiration to everyone who seeks to be true to who we are as artists

  • J.S. Blum

    Well, thanks to the brilliant management of my local PBS station, Oregon Public Broadcasting,DirectTV customers DO NOT GET THESE AMERICAN MASTERS ANYMORE. A fine way to treat subscribers to the station for almost 30 years. Anyone want to send me a tape or a DVD of this, please?

  • Leroy Goren

    One of my favorite TV programs is American Masters. This latest program about Joan Baez has to rank as one of your best ones. I am 71 years old and must say that she has been one of my heroes for many years. Thank you for this well done program. I salute you for bringing it to the PBS audience. If the younger generation is looking for a hero, they need look no farther!!!

  • tom rose

    Joan Baez American Masters was more than fantastic. What was Joan’s relationship with Ira Sandpearl and how can I view earlier PBS programs about her especially if they were never aired. I knew Joan when I was at Palo Alto High School and I used to talk with her when she was sitting on the counter in Keeplers Book Store. She sat on the counter, and Ira was behind the counter, and I remember talking about Gandhi. Tom Rose

  • Ginger Borst

    I was riveted to the program. Thank you PBS for recognizing Joan’s amazing life, and thank you Joan Baez for a lifetime of song and social justice activism. You are definitely an inspiration to me and to many others. Gratias

  • Jim K

    Thank you for filming this. Being born in 60 Joan Baez was always there growing up till now.

    This was an incredibly moving film and I thought she was one of the most honest people AM has covered.

  • Maria Duha-Klinger

    Thank you PBS. BRAVO JOAN BAEZ! She is quite an inspiration.Great tribute to a great woman.

  • Jim B.

    John McD (above) says it so well: “Joan has stood only with her guitar and her clear, luminous voice . . .”

    God bless you, Joan Baez. For 50 years you have awakened the very best in us. You are a beautiful, courageous soul.–JB

  • Aaron E

    I would love to download a copy of this to view on my iPhone. Is this available in downloadable form for purchase?

  • Paul B

    Thanks PBS. for showcasing Joan Baez,what a great American,I heard Joan speak in French and Spanish I enjoyed seeing Joan and her sister when they young and they were running through a field, she had a good family. Joan stood on the front lines of history , thanks Joan we love you.

  • Lesley Waldbeiser

    Joan Baez American Masters- Dear Joan, I met you years ago walking on the beach in the early hours
    of the morning and as famous as you were at the time
    you were so pleasant to me.
    The film was amazing/growing up in that era brought back so many memories.
    The one comment you made towards the end about yourself finally in your sixties surrounding yourself with the right people and some of the choices you had made were not the best in life.
    I’m 63 and that really impressed me that you would actually admit for that is were I am in life too.Thank you Joan Baez

  • Georgianna J

    Wonderful show. And GREAT footage of Dylan, young and old. And btw, most of the folkies were from middle class families, many Harvard drop-outs like Tom Rush.

  • Bob Ludwig

    What a wonderful human being! The program brings back all of the memories and tears. (Cambridge 1956-1960, LA 1960-1969, DC 1969-1971). Thank you PBS. Watch the program and buy the DVD.

  • danny wilson

    The pure beauty of humanity comes from Joan Baez the person. This documentary was wonderful in that it caputred this. She was a mentor that never knew me and thousands of other youth, as well as to fellow draft refusers. She is a teacher to us all, and will be for generations to come. There but for fortune go you and I.

  • danny wilson

    The pure beauty of humanity reflects from Joan Baez. The wonderful documentary caputured this. Her soul gave courage to draft refusers like me. She comforts millions who suffer in wars of our time. She’s a teacher of the spirit and will be for generations to come. There but for fortune go you and I.

  • Larry Houghton

    A wonderful documentary that is fitting for a great lady, Joan Baez. A great talent who stood up for what she believed. Not with just with words but with actions as well. What a voice.

  • Bruce Weaver

    NOBLE PEACE PRIZE TO JOAN BAEZ. This is a person who deserves the award!!!!!

  • Sharmin Hannan

    Thank you PBS for airing such a wonderful documentary.

    I could not hold my tears when I saw her singing “Amazing Grace” on the street of Sarajevo.

    Dear Joan, we still have long ways to go, let us bring peace to Palestine, Kashmir, Darfur…..

  • Xcorps

    I just watched or should I say witnessed the American Masters documentary episode How Sweet the Sound featuring Joan Baez airing here on KPBS San Diego. Muchos cudos to the filmakers Mark Spector and Mary Wharton and creator Susan Lacy and of course to Joan Baez!
    All the images from so long ago looked so clean sharp and fresh probably because it was all shot on FILM! A documentary from our current era -2009-would include grainy cell phone imagery and not look half as good! You could say the same about the music!
    Great job on the film! A lot of work and it shows!

  • Peter

    Finally a full length Joan Baez documentary. She is a world treasure; she was gifted with a diamond mind, really deeply spiritually intelligent and with such dignity and integrity. The astonishing qualities in her voice comes out of intelligence. The world do not know how much it owes her. God bless her! And thanks to PBS for bringing this episode of American Masters to us.

  • sheila savage

    I just cannot thank you enough for this wonderful presentation! I stayed up long past my bedtime last night to watch. Joan Baez was my first music love, back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I remember saving my babysitting money (@50 cents/hr,) to spend 5 dollars on a Vanguard record.

  • tim dufelmeier

    Such an amazing career that the following events didn’t even make the film:

    Leader of 1st major college sit-ins @ Berkely
    Tax protests
    Cesar Chavez friendship
    Woodstock Headliner
    Live Aid opener
    Huge Wash. Monument Concert after the DAR kicked
    her out of Constitution Hall
    Her Smother’s Brothers show was censored and the
    boradcast was dealyed
    Soldiarity work in Poland
    Convincing Carter to rescue the Boat People
    Boycotting TV shows for Seeger
    Her huge selling book, Dyabreak
    Steve Jobst, Kris K etc etc
    Irish Peace People support
    Her MONSTER FISA file
    The bi-sexual declaration before almost anybody
    else in pop
    The bombs in South America and blocked concerts
    Playing Notre Dame
    The Zanzinnni Show
    The Joanie Phoanie Cartoon
    The Jane Fonda Feud and the Ronald Reagan praise
    etc etc etc etc

  • Steven Lough

    How soon can we buy a DVD copy of this wonderful performance, and perspective on Joan.

    I did not see it any where when I went to the
    “Shop” location

  • m stratford

    awsome joan your just awsome you lived what you beleave and beleave what you lived the most full filling life a person could ever live

  • rebecca

    that was wonderful. thank you for making this!

  • J. Money

    The clip above which says it’s the full episode, is only five minutes. Where is the fullepisode?

  • Liz Thomson

    Carry It On covered the period up to and beyond David Harris’ arrest in July 1969, and chronicles their speaking tour and her concerts that summer, including Woodstock. Released in 1970, it hasn’t been available for many years.
    There But for Fortune: Joan Baez in Latin America documented her 1981 tour of a then very troubled continent when she was prevented from singing officially and endured bomb threats. That project was her own and was, I think, very much of a piece with her work at that time for Humanitas, her human rights group. It was aired on US TV in 1982. Clips from both films are included in the PBS documentary.

  • Samantha

    This is a must see. It is truly exciting to watch. So inspiring. So beautiful. What a great music documentary! If you are an activist for human rights, peacemaking, or just love music and people, this documentary about Joan Baez will delight and inspire you.

  • mybackpgs

    Thank you, American Masters, for this great special on Joan Baez. Why has this artist not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

  • dennis t

    mahalo for telling an important story and inspiring me to keep on keepin’ on!

  • Patrick Welin

    No disrespect to Joan or any other artist, but sometimes I think the pacifists/atists pacify the general public from action. The general public may be thinking, “the message is out there and the work is done in the form of art and music—what difference can the voice of an unknown like me make?—The stage is stolen, a famous face is glorified—who’s this moron nobody with the same message…?” No one has ever stessed or awaken the masses to the psychology and instinct of fear (in the brain) in it’s relation to different cultures and how they perceive each other as threats. This is how we educate the world and especially our children to self awareness, vulnerabiliy, and how the instinct of fear must be understood and tamed through intellect, cultural diverity, awareness, repect, and self control—this is the only answer to peace, I believe. As it is now, nations do not “really” understand each other when they only have their own frame of reference/understanding to draw from. Let’s wake up to the instinct of fear inside the brain and realize when it passes into judgement and human reaction.

  • Mimi

    I missed it, would you repeat it?

  • K.C.

    I’ve loved Joanie ever since my early years of college. Each time I see a special about her, her work and music it brings a sad/sweet feeling. What a remarkable voice and wonderful person. Thank you Joan and Thank you PBS!

  • Watty Strouss

    I was greatly privileged to attend the Biaz/Harris wedding held at St. Clement’s Church in midtown Manhattan. Although an Episcopal church,it was gutted in the 60’s by the Diocese and transformed into a theatre/church space. The wedding took place on the stage with an altar and followed the Anglican liturgy. I remember Joan’s mother wore a black velvet dress, and her sister did some singing during the reception which eventually included Joan herself. Joan Biaz gave each guest a small yellow button with a flower on its face and the message “Celebrate Life,” which I treasure to this day.

  • stephanie taylor

    We saw her perform at UCLA during the height of the war. She’s still as amazing as she was then.

  • Lucille

    I so enjoyed the special. It took me back to the days spent at my older sister’s home when they would get together to play music. I probably would never even have known many of these folk music groups had I not been there.

  • silverbonn

    This is addressed to Siobhan Meow…
    Sorry, ‘Meow,’ but Joan is SAINT Joan to me and hundreds of thousands of others.
    “Trust fund brat?” How DARE you! (Did you even LISTEN when she said she & her family lived like Gypsies, moving every 4 years or so?
    “Quakers and Wealth” are mutually exclusive terms. Even if her parents DID financially support her (what? You think parents should NOT help their kids reach their dreams?), she supported herself, thru her music, by the time she reached her early to mid-20s.
    I guess y’missed the part where she said she dropped out of college (NOT Harvard, BOSTON–a STATE school) and was living on the streets, that winter.
    Your cynicism digusts me. What a shame you can’t acknowledge a Beautiful Soul… Can’t you see what it says about YOU?
    Joan Baez has lived her life *adhering* to her (Quakler) Beliefs & Principles. A large percentage (different sources say ALL) of her albums’ profits, prior to “Diamonds & Rust,” were donated to the Committe for Non-Violent Action.
    In summation, go back UNDER the rock you crawled out from. Your attacks on this REAL “Human Being” (a condition to be *attained* — not automatic) are not welcome here… (You have the RIGHT, of course, but it seems the “Yays” outweigh you by a “gazillion” to one!
    Thanks & God BLESS you, Joan Baez. You, Pete Seeger & Holly Near (to name a few) NEVER fell into the alluring trap of fame.
    You walked the straight and narrow path of a “celebrity” w/ Conscience, never wavering in the face of opposition… (from the age of *16*!!)
    “Sunday Morning” ran an interview w/ you a few years ago. Working @ a motel that served breakfast, I “broke the rules” & asked the diners to watch it w. me & turned the TV volume up.
    The Boomers, present, gave the expected “What? She’s still alive?” exclamation/s but the “kids” there, from 6 to 26 listened to every word *you* spoke, as well as mine, of what else I knew about your life & your contribution/s to the Peace Mvmt.
    They were *amazed* to learn of a “grown-up” who actually DID “put their money where her mouth is.”
    You gave them (& always have, me) “A Reason to Believe.”

    Many many thanks, PBS.
    Peace & LOVE to all! (Even you, Meow!)


  • Alan

    It was a wonderful special. I found out so much more about Joan, it brought her closer. It’s clear that her life has had it’s share of turmoil but she’s as human as the next person. I was very impressed with her support of human rights all over the world. This world of ours needs more people like Joan if we’re to survive.

  • RogierR

    I am going to see Joan Baez in Concert (in Amsterdam) ,later today, and I’m so much looking forward to it. Joan Baez is and will always be an inspiration for millions of people all over the world. This documentary once again makes it so very clear what a beautiful person she really is. God bless her!

  • Szila

    Thanks for this docummentary, so much! It has only one minus: it’s too short ;) Love Joan music, and herself too.

  • Satya P. Gautam

    I was introduced to the songs and music of Joan Baez in 1967 by my friends from the American Peace Corps who had come to East Punjab, India instead of going to Vietnam. Since then, for more than four decades, I have been listening to her music, which has inspired me to reflect on the significance of peace and human rights at the local and global levels.
    Iwas in England when Joan Baez was on a concerts- tour for her album “Ring Them Bells” in July 1996. She was very gracious to grant me a meeting with her after the concert in Reading. That is the only time I heard her alive and had a brief conversation with her. I carry with me the pictures of us when she was signing the album for me as a record of some of the most precious and memorable moments for me. I am eagerly looking forward to
    watching “How Sweet the Sound” which a friend from UK has promised to bring for me next week.Joan is a great singer and a wonderful person. May she continue showing us the beauty of music and life and the urgency to get rid of evils of injustice, violence and oppression by promoting peace, goodwill and harmony among people.

  • Jim Busc

    Joan Baez is the best!

  • woodstock

    A voice of an angel….Ive followed Joan for 50 yrs…..I saw her live at the egg in Albany NY several yrs ago…I cried for 1/2….I couldnt believe this beautiful person was in front of me singing…..she does deserves the nobel peace prize!….shes has a beautiful soul…God Bless you Joan!

  • jabusc

    Joan Baez is such a wonderful person.
    How could she not be?
    A Pacifist and she worked so diligently during the Civil Rights movement.
    You know, I think I’ve had a little crush on Joan for the past forty or fifty years :)
    Thanks Ms. Baez for all of the great work and wonderful music!

  • Moondiggitydawg

    Meow – WHAT is your problem?
    Joan Baez is a TREASURE!
    God Bless You Joan and thank you for a lifetime dedicated to making the world a better place.

  • Dianne Wright

    I met Joan from front of first row (sat on floor!) @ University of Vermont concert…I was 19 she in her 20s Fresh from NEWPORT browned from Sun long skirt sat on stool BARE FOOTED…I have all I can find by her saw her live 10 or more times in NY NJ area…NO ONE sings anything better than Joan…”WHERE ARE YOU NOW MY SON?” had on LP side two was recorded during live bombing in Hanoi!Read “And a Voice to Sing WITH” her Autobiography and see how many Amnesty International et al she belongs to… Martin Luther King came to see her in Jail(for public sit in type of event) Saw the last 20 to 30 minutes of this PBS SHOW as I am all BASEBALL IN these Summer/Fall NY MONTHS…Tell us when we can see this SPECIFIC PBS sent me one date Dec 2 what other dates ANYBODY?
    Last year saw her twice…first time her pipes were cranky so we went back a few weeks later…only change is Venues will no longer allow Joan to POSE for first song so we sneak photo phones for JOAN! With love to Gabe… You GO GIRL! Joan said she would appear @ 100 if her mom Joan senior were to push her ONSTAGE in a Wheel chair YES her Mom is alive as of 2008…
    WE LOVE HER ANGELIC TONES! FOUND myself knocking on Dorm door as she belted out MARY HAMELTON…ASKED WHO IS THAT ANGEL SINGING?…saw Joan live that semester in Burlington still going Bowery From Every Stage and her last trip through…oh maybe Joan’s site lists her PBS dates…FOLKS SEE JOAN’S site! BUY last album DAY AFTER TOMORROW! to JOAN~~~with love~~~ Gemini fan!!!

  • MoJe

    Thanks PBS for doing a fabulous profile of a modern miracle worker. Joanie has transformed more lives and given more hope, than can possibly be counted. I have loved and admired her for 40 years. I remember the first time I ever heard her music, from the Blessed Are album, and it felt as if I would never be the same. She opened my eyes to a larger, more desperate world, that needed our unblinking attention. I couldn’t do much at the age of 13, but I knew there would be many chances to come. She is a true World Hero who stood and sang for those who could not speak for themselves. I remain in awe as much today as 40 years ago. Bless You, Joanie.

  • greet schamp

    Thanks for this movie, I just attended a concert by Joan in Antwerp, Belgium. She still is my favorite singer..

  • mary goulart

    when the next PBS special repeat on Joan Baez

  • TYM

    thank God for the VETERANS & PATRIOTS who served, died, and still live so great artists like Joan Baez were free to express themselves and their opinions in the best country in the world! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

  • Richard Blood

    I too was riveted to this film. I first heard Joan in graduate school in 1959 (Newport concert album). I have been in love with her voice since and in love with her after this documentary. Joan allowed me to be a fly on the wall as she opened her life to us. She is the most honest person I know.

  • Fred Miller

    Joan Baez is a treasure to this country and to all people. This is history that must be preserved.

  • Bob

    Why won’t this play? It’s still Dec. 09 where I am

  • jean-marie sadowniczyk

    Grande et fabuleuse Artiste. A la fois paisible, modeste et… très courageuse !
    Excellent souvenir de son spectacle à Tours (france).
    Good bye.

  • Barbara

    I have wonderful memories of Joan , and Ira visiting my school in Palo Alto. Together , they taught a generation about peace , and non violence.

  • Jasmine Sunshine

    I’m so excited to see Joan Baez perform with Steve Earle to support the anti-poverty work of a great organization called Seva ( that was started by Ram Dass, Wavy Gravy and some of the Grateful Dead!

    The show is this Valentine’s Day in San Francisco!

  • Ray J Kaczmarek

    See the program. The music is Great -remind is 1965
    Her story is a “America Dream

  • Max

    This is addressed to Siobhan Meow…

    Are you insane? Baez’s parents were broke most of their early life–the father was an academic, for God’s sake! There was no “trust fund” involved at all. I think it’s PBS and its willingness to go the distance with performers such as Baez that really has your dander up. Her politics must rile you up alot. I’m glad. I’m surprised you asren’t out on the streets roaming around with a gun. Maybe you are.

  • Cathy

    Thanks so much. Joan was my inspiration when I was a teenager. She showed us how to follow our conscience and act with righteous passion. Too bad there are not more people like her in our world. We still need her voice! Maybe more now than ever. God bless her.

  • Xenea

    This is also addressed to Siobhan Meow

    Baez’s family became Quakers and her dad was an academic. It is hard to believe she was raised a brat. The family probably never lacked for comforts, which makes her story of fighting for the underdog even more admirable. I am sorry for your anger, and wish you peace within.

  • Susan

    People may believe one thing or another about Joan Baez. What I believe is that this woman is of the utmost integrity. She taught me, by her actions, that one doesn’t have to always be popular to be true to oneself, but one always should follow what they believe to be true. To me – Joan Baez is a special gift to us all

  • zack bu

    I’m a 21 chinese student living in shanghai and I love joan’s music
    Thank PBS for this video so i can learn about the times and events that I would have never known otherwise
    Joan has the most beautiful voice and heart and she moved me in so many inexplicible ways
    she’s truly a great artist her voice and spirit are so poweful that it passed through generations and oceans reaching me ,a 21-year old chinese.
    I hope I can see her live someday

  • Carolyn King Stephens

    Thank you so much for the beautiful story of Joan Baez. I had to wait for the second, late night, broadcast to find a quiet evening to take it all in. The musicality was so lovely and consistent throughout the many years which were being portrayed. Through peaceful times, loving times, war, protests, and tragedies that georgeous tone kept me attentive and there with my TV. I was just a few years behind her in age and was highly influenced by her in the folk music era. Much appreciation to all who contributed to this excellence. The program is an example of what is lovely, what is admirable, what is excellent and praiseworthy, and Baez’s life is well worth celebrating.

  • Mark O’Hagan

    This programme was broadcast recently on Sky Arts here in Ireland. I only got around to watching it last night. An incredible piece of documentary filmmaking. I can understand her anguish at the Vietnam memorial as she had campaigned so vigorously against the draft, and to see all the names of those wasted lives etched in stone permanently, combined with her own experiences of being bombed by her fellow countrymen while she was visiting North Vietnam is bound to have had a traumatic effect. It has been said that “all it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing”. Joan Baez can hold her head up high and know, and anyone who saw this magnificent film will also know too , that she tried and continues to try to do something to stop the triumph of evil.

  • lou anthony

    I just understood the fundamentals of Joan Baez and her work as if that was enough or all I needed to know. I’m so pleased I chanced on PBS airing American Masters to learn more of the gift she is to human writes and musician. This was an Epic woman! Such a deeply engaging person yet so humble and simple at the same time. Among the things I took away from the film were to live in freedom truly comes at a cost. And that if you believe in something and love what you do and stand for you will lead a life worth living.


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