Due to popular demand, today we celebrate one of the great songwriters of all time, the amazing Joni Mitchell. I let Nov 7 go by without this tribute due to getting lost in election 2008 that week, choosing instead to analyze Barack Obama's chart for that day. So today we'll take a look at a remarkable woman.
Born November 7, 1943, this Grammy winning, self-described "painter derailed by circumstance" has given us such great songs. Think "Big Yellow Taxi," "Both Sides Now," "The Circle Game," "Chelsea Morning," "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio," and the legendary "Woodstock," to name but a few.
Truly one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century, this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's songs and style of performance combines folk, jazz, pop, and rock creating a unique sound that provided early hits for acts like Judy Collins, Dave Van Ronk, Buffy Ste. Marie and Crosby, Still, and Nash. Other contemporary acts influenced by or performing songs by Joni include Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox, Eva Cassidy, Sheryl Crow, Madonna, Emmylou Harris, Sonic Youth, Tori Amos, Björk, Morrissey, Dan Fogelberg, Janet Jackson, Prince, George Michael, Juice Newton, and too many others to list here.
In the 70s she even worked with amazing jazz cats Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, and even Charles Mingus. Other collaborative greats? Try Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Don Henley, Peter Gabriel, and Billy Idol. She's definitely got respect in a business that shows little to anyone!
And now, on with the show! I found a bunch of great videos from various concerts, so kick back and enjoy a large number of great performances. You'll find even more as you go through these, since they all link to quite a few other greats by this unique talent.
We start with the classic Big Yellow Taxi from a 1970 performance.
Here's another from 1970 with Joni doing Both Sides Now
An early gem of Joni doing The Circle Game in 1966.
Here's a 1969 performance of Chelsea Morning
From the Johnny Cash show, I found several songs. Here are California and an exquisite duet with Johnny of the Bob Dylan gem Girl from the North Country. There are more clips of her performances on the Johnny Cash show, so if you're inclined, kick back and enjoy!
We close this mini-concert with three from the BBC. We begin with California, follow with My Old Man and end with Cactus. Again, there are several more video clips from these sessions available, so enjoy yourselves with some remarkable footage of this remarkable songbird.
Happy Birthday, Joni. There are a bunch of us out here that think you're the best!!
© Copyright 2008 Robert Wilkinson