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Joan Baez & Bob Dylan

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Baez first met Dylan in 1961 at Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village. At the time, Baez had already released her debut album and her popularity as the emerging “Queen of Folk” was on the rise. Baez was initially unimpressed with the “urban hillbilly,” but was impressed with one of Dylan’s first compositions, “Song to Woody,” and remarked that she would like to record it (though she never did). At the start, Dylan was more interested in Baez’s younger sister, Mimi, but under the glare of media scrutiny that began to surround Baez and Dylan, their relationship began to develop into something more. By 1963, Baez had already released three albums, two of which had been certified “Gold”, and she invited Dylan on stage to perform alongside her at the Newport Folk Festival. The two performed the Dylan composition “With God on Our Side”, a performance that set the stage for many more duets like it in the months and years to come. Typically while on tour, Baez would invite Dylan to sing on stage partly by himself and partly with her, much to the chagrin of Baez’s fans, who often booed him. Before meeting Dylan, Baez’s topical songs were few and far between: “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream,” “We Shall Overcome” and an assortment of negro spirituals. Baez would later say that Dylan’s songs seemed to update the topics of protest and justice.

By the time of Dylan’s 1965 tour of the United Kingdom, their relationship had slowly begun to fizzle out after their having been romantically involved off and on for nearly two years. The tour and simultaneous disintegration of Baez’s and Dylan’s relationship was documented in the rock-doc Dont Look Back .

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