Joan Baez

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Jackson Browne
  • Category:
Joan Baez


Joan Baez breathed new life into folk music in the 1960s, powering rock music's turn toward social and political consciousness.

Baez's unwavering dedication to activism shows that volume isn't the only way to be loud—and totally rock and roll.

Hall of Fame Essay


Arthur Levy

For decades, Joan Baez has maintained that she is not a rock & roll artist.

But back in 1958, amid all the Harry Belafonte and traditional folk covers on the demo recording she made after graduating from Palo Alto High School, there she is, having her way with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ “Annie Had a Baby,” the Coasters’ “Young Blood” (via Leiber-Stoller and Doc Pomus), and Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.”

Rock history has always harbored its own regard for Joan Baez (b. 1941), American folk icon, who now somewhat bemusedly finds herself inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As she said in her understated way when she got word in December, “As part of the folk music boom, which contributed to and influenced the rock revolution of the sixties, I am proud that some of the songs I sang made their way into the rock lexicon.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2017
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Joan Baez_quote
The purity of her voice was intoxicating
Jackson Browne






Photography: Getty/WireImage