Happy 65th birthday, Joni Mitchell!
Here’s a round-up of goodwill and appreciation for Joni Mitchell and her music:
The Britannica Blog sent an early reminder on Sunday, and brags that Joni has contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Anyone know what she contributed?
On Thursday Joni Mitchell turns 65; the Canadian singer-songwriter emerged in the 1960s as one of the most enduring and influential artists of the folk era. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and one of only a handful of people to win two Nobel Prizes–and she also is counted among Britannica’s contributors.
CBC Radio 2 has been asking, which Joni Mitchell song will stay with you always? The morning show hosted by Tom Allen has been playing her music all week and will play the song with the most votes on Friday. The Radio 2 Blog has a post about the whole thing, and also posts this video of Joni Mitchell perforing “California” on the BBC in 1970:
The Wall Street Journal published a birthday tribute by Jim Fusilli on Tuesday. It includes quotes from David Crosby:
“In a hundred years, when they ask who was the greatest songwriter of the era, it’s got to be her or Dylan. I think it’s her. And she’s a better musician than Bob.”
“It was the quality of her songs. And the singing, and the instrumental ability. She was beautiful and intriguing, but the songs were so good.”
“I don’t remember if she was into jazz. But she was going deeper in her sound. By the time she did Blue, she was past me and rushing toward the horizon.”
“She and the late Michael Hedges were the most advanced tuning specialists I knew. It was like she was saying, ‘I want dense, stranger chords.'”
“I thought [Shine] was terrific. I was upset that she wasn’t recording more. I told her so. But the industry has never known what to do with her. It’s not an easy world for someone that sophisticated.”
Saxophonist Wayne Shorter was also interviewed for the article:
“I listened to her folk stuff but I was really interested when she started to incorporate a wider range of musical content and expression. Her music was becoming more global.”
“She was willing to stand up and not be a victim of her success, and not be subservient to the ‘fan club’ syndrome. You know, people would say to her: ‘How dare you play a minor second.’ She faced the tide of what the record companies expected of someone who had folk hits and wrote ‘Woodstock.'”
“She didn’t hide. Instead of doing music by rote, she created a way of storytelling that used certain colorings. She was a fighter.”
The online version of the article has 30-second sound clips of “River” from Blue, “Help Me” from Court and Spark, “A Chair in the Sky” from Mingus, and “This Place” from Shine.
Forham University’s WFUV 90.7 FM in the Bronx, New York, will be playing Joni Mitchell throughout the day on Friday, November 7.