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Fariña, Mimi (30 April 1945–18 July 2001), folksinger and activist, was born Margarita Mimi Baez in Palo Alto, California, the third daughter of Albert Baez, a physicist, and Joan Bridge Baez. Both parents were first-generation immigrants, her father coming from Mexico and her mother from Scotland. As a girl Mimi studied violin and ballet. In 1958 the family moved to the Boston-Cambridge area, and Mimi and her older sister Joan discovered the burgeoning folk music scene. They both learned to play guitar and began performing at coffeehouses. Mimi was the better guitarist, but Joan had the stronger voice, dazzling audiences with her angelic soprano. Mimi, still in high school, watched in amazement as Joan outgrew the coffeehouses, moving on to bigger gigs and signing a recording contract with Vanguard Records, the leading folk music label....

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Hays, Lee Elhardt (14 March 1914–26 August 1981), songwriter, singer, and political activist, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of the Reverend William Benjamin Hays, a Methodist minister, and Ellen Reinhardt, a court reporter. The youngest of four children, Lee Hays left home at age fourteen for Emory Junior College Academy in Oxford, Georgia, a Methodist prep school from which he graduated in 1930. He had hoped to take a bachelor’s degree, but during the depression none of his family members could help with tuition....

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Marley, Bob (06 February 1945–11 May 1981), musician and political activist, was born Robert Nesta Marley in Nine Miles, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, the son of Norval Marley, a British army officer, and Cedella Malcolm. After Norval Marley abandoned his family, Bob Marley grew up in extreme poverty, moving between Nine Miles and Kingston, finally settling in the rough ghetto of Trench Town....