When I am looking for music for the Sunday morning posts, I am always looking for a new song or style to deliver the beauty and solemnity of the occasion. So when the name Joan Baez popped into my head, I was stunned I hadn't thought of her before. Aside from being the Queen of Folk for much of her career, the clear and lovely tone of her voice never lost the crisp and precise nature, delivering decade after decade. I will showcase that delicate beauty of her voice in the first clip, when she sings Amazing Grace with Aaron Neville. This was recorded on the Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986.
Next I will offer up a true classic. In 1963, Joan Baez released a live album, and included on it was a stirring version of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The song was written in 1861 by Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song John Brown's Body. Baez often sang the song throughout her career, especially in the 1960s while she was going on civil rights marches. Listen to the live performance.
And, finally, how could I not include the great spiritual, Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Again, she often sang it while on civil rights marches, including while she was marching with The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. The following clip was recorded in 2009, when Baez was 68 years old. As you will hear, time did nothing to diminish her gorgeous voice.
For more about Joan Baez, visit her official website. You can purchase the music from How Sweet The Sound, a movie documenting the life and times of Joan Baez. The music is available on iTunes and Amazon.