Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 7 - Joni Mitchell

Happy 70th birthday to singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who was born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943, at Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada. At age 8 in Saskatchewan, she contracted polio during the last major epidemic in North America (1951) prior to the Salk vaccine’s success. She recovered, took an avid interest in many types of music, learned guitar from a Pete Seeger instruction book, and in 1964 moved to Toronto, where she found folk singing gigs. She also had a daughter she gave up for adoption, not even telling her parents. Joni’s compositions were covered by Tom Rush, Buffy Sainte-Marie and especially Judy Collins ("Both Sides Now," "Chelsea Morning"). After winning a Grammy for her album “Clouds” (1969), Joni released “Ladies of the Canyon” (1970), which included the song "Woodstock." In 1971 she recorded her landmark album “Blue,” which followed successive breakups with Graham Nash and James Taylor. The New York Times has ranked “Blue” as one of 25 albums representing "turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music."

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