‘While we were working, this young American folk singer played her own records so that her child could continue to hear his mother’s voice. She was among the most natural of all the performers I have photographed.’ (Karsh)
Baez began singing and playing the guitar in her early teens. She first attracted wide acclaim with her 1959 Newport Folk Festival debut and her first self-titled album, which was released in 1960. On early albums she accompanied herself simply with an acoustic guitar. The tracks were traditional songs and covers, often of Bob Dylan songs, with whom she toured a number of times. She was prominent in the civil rights and peace movements. A spokesperson for non-violent resistance, she refused to pay taxes that would support the war in Vietnam, took part in demonstrations (singing We Shall Overcome before an estimated quarter of a million people at the civil rights march on Washington in 1963) and was arrested a number of times in 1967 for blocking the entrance to the Armed Forces Induction Center in Oakland, California.