The Nov. 23, 1962, cover of TIME
TIME
By Lily Rothman
March 25, 2015

Every year, the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings — songs, spoken-word pieces, speeches — that will join the National Recording Registry, an archive of hundreds of sounds that will be specially preserved as crucial parts of America’s history.

This year’s batch, announced early Wednesday morning, features Joan Baez’s eponymous 1960 album, and the selection note from the Library of Congress explains that the groundbreaking artist released it shortly before TIME crowned her the Queen of the Folk Singers. The magazine did not actually use those exact words until later in the decade, but the general idea of her dominance was strongly conveyed in a November 1962 cover story about the folk movement.

The magazine had been tracking her career since 1960, when she was identified as an up-and-comer, and by mid-1962, by which time she had “sold more records than any other girl folk singer in history,” that prediction had clearly been vindicated. For the November story about the movement, a painting of Baez adorned the cover, and John McPhee — then a contributing editor at TIME — was selected to write.

McPhee’s take on folk wasn’t quite a wholehearted embrace (“Anything called a hootenanny ought to be shot on sight, but the whole country is having one,” was his first sentence) but, even so, it was clear that Baez was doing something special:

A side note for those nostalgic for a 60-cent cup of joe: that’s $4.64 with inflation. If you’re going to be sad about your Starbucks, complain about the lack of live and legendary music, not the prices.

Read the full cover story, here in the TIME Vault: Sibyl With Guitar

Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com.

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