Folk singer Joan Baez and Jonathan Cain, keyboardist and songwriter for the pop/rock band Journey, have both spent quality time in the Shoals.
Now they’re bound for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Baez recorded her 1979 album “Honest Lullaby” at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios on Alabama Avenue in Sheffield with members of the Swampers.
Cain performed with Shoals singer/songwriter Gary Baker at a fundraiser for the University of North Alabama baseball team. Cain also spent several days in the Shoals writing songs with Baker, who is known for the Grammy-winning hit “I Swear.”
Baez and Journey join the progressive rock band Yes, the late rapper Tupac Shakur, Seattle grunge rockers Pearl Jam, and the English rock band Electric Light Orchestra in this year’s hall of fame induction class.
Baker said he became friends with Cain after the songwriter/keyboardist asked Baker to participate in a charity fundraiser concert in Nashville, Tennessee. Baker invited Cain to the Shoals in 2013 to perform at a benefit concert for the UNA baseball team.
“He was here on a couple of occasions for three or four days,” Baker said. “We became good friends.”
Cain is responsible for some of Journey’s biggest hits, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Faithfully” and “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).” Some of those tracks he co-wrote with Journey singer Steve Perry, who joined the band in 1977.
“As soon as he became a member, that’s when they started getting big,” Baker said. “Jonathan was extremely instrumental in the success of that band because of his songwriting ability.”
During the show, Baker said the songwriters would rotate playing songs and tell stories in between. Cain would do a medley of three or four songs, then the others would play.
“It comes back around again and he did a medley of three or four songs, then another,” Baker said. “I’m holding back ‘I swear.'”
After Cain’s last medley, Baker said he told himself, “He ran out of bullets, man, I got him. And I do, ‘I swear.'”
But when it came back around to Cain, he busts out the Journey hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Baker said he and Cain wrote “What Else Have I Missed,” a song about what people miss when they’re on the road.
“It’s a really cool song,” Baker said. “We started it at my studio and finished it at his studio.”
Read more at Hall of Fame inductees spent time in Shoals.