Talking about book bans and being a total “fan-girl” for troubled Tennessee Representative Justin Jones, Joan Baez

Speaking to a packed house of people for whom Baez is the soundtrack of their lives, Baez said on Sunday at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, “I realized that I hated it because I was not also current.”

However, a video of Baez with Tennessee state representative Justin Jones, who was expelled, went viral earlier this month. The two sang an impromptu version of “We Shall Overcome,” an anthem of the civil rights movement that Baez famously sang during the March on Washington, after running into each other at the Newark airport.

The video was tweeted by Jones and has received 4.8 million views. It has also been reshared on social media and discussed on late-night talk shows, demonstrating the timeless nature of Baez.

“I was in Justin’s arms by the time he tapped me on the shoulder,” the woman remarked. “I shot through the room. And he uttered, “I consider myself blessed, Joan Baez. God bless you.”

I have no idea what’s happening up there until I finish the drawing. And when I turn it upside down, I’m just as shocked as everyone else,” Baez remarked. “I spent my entire childhood feeling a little alienated. I had to make my own little world, therefore. I was very young when I discovered I could draw. I drew and sold drawings of Thumper and Bambi for three cents each.

When Baez first got her hands on a guitar, she told Morrison, music took the place of her childhood love of drawing.

“When I first started playing the guitar and music, it was really all-consuming. I would literally be learning a song on the guitar, falling asleep with the guitar resting on my chest, and then waking up to continue playing.”


The folk singer attributes the “extraordinary talent” of musicians like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Janis Joplin, and Peter, Paul, and Mary to the spirit of the time when her career began.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that civil rights marches and other events coincided with the end of the Vietnam War. And that tension was a part of the spirit that inspired this music, she added. “When I got up, that day—during those crises and marches and acts of civil disobedience—was defined for me.”

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