Mimi Fariña

Mimi Fariña Biography

Mimi Farina, Joan Baez's younger sister, first got into performing professionally in partnership with her husband, novelist and songwriter Richard Farina, whom she married in 1963. Singing harmony, the couple released two remarkable albums on Vanguard, Celebrations for a Grey Day in 1965 and Reflections in a Crystal Wind (1966), before Richard was killed in a motorcycle accident. Mimi Farina was 21.

She subsequently released an album of the duo's outtakes, Memories. (The two albums made during Richard's lifetime were reissued as a best-of two-fer.) In the late '60s, Farina, based in California, worked with a satiric improvisational acting group and began to write her own songs. She re-emerged on record in 1971 on Take Heart, a duo album with Tom Jans that included her tribute song to Janis Joplin, "In the Quiet Morning." (This and other songs of hers were also recorded by her sister.)

In the '70s, Farina founded Bread & Roses, a charity organization devoted to putting on musical performances in hospitals and prisons. Several of the organization's annual benefit concerts, featuring some of the biggest names in folk and popular music, have been recorded and released. In 1985, Farina finally released a solo album, appropriately entitled Solo, and undertook a national tour. Throughout the late '80s and '90s, Farina turned her attention back to Bread and Roses, continuing to nurture the organization until she became ill with lung cancer. On July 18, 2001 she died in her Mill Valley home, surrounded by family and friends. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

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