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The Music of Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell or Roberta Joan Anderson was born in Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada on November 7, 1943. She is a singer-songwriter known for her folk music style.

As a child taking piano lessons she soon realized that she liked to compose her own music. When the folk music revival came to her town of Saskatoon in the late 1950s and early 1960s Mitchell started learning the guitar. She had no support from her mother who wanted her to continue the piano. So she saved her money and bought herself a baritone ukulele.

Trouble came when Mitchell came down with polio and was unable to form cords with her left hand. It was at this time that she started experimenting with non-standard guitar tuning which later on became her signature sound. She started out as a songwriter and one of her best known songs “Both Side Now” was performed by Judy Collins in 1967.

Two years later Mitchell did a version of her own. Crosby, Stills and Nash scored a big hit with Mitchell’s “Woodstock”. Nazareth did a cover version of her “This Flight Tonight” in 1973 from Mitchell’s landmark album, Blue.

Her album Blue which came out in 1971 gave her the greatest period of popularity. It included songs like “California”.

Three years later she came out with more great music in her album Court and Spark in 1974.  Among the songs is “Like This Train”.

Since then she has come out with more albums recording into the 2000s.. Today she is a young 76 years old.


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