Joni Mitchell

Born: November 7, 1943
Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada

Developing Polio at the age of nine was just the beginning for Joni Mitchell. While she was recovering in the children's hospital, she occupied herself by singing to other patients. She taught herself how to play the acoustic guitar, and began writing her own songs well before she graduated from high school. After graduation, she went to art school in Calgary, where she joined the local folkie scene and began playing her guitar in coffee houses and on street corners. In 1965, she married Chuck Mitchell, also a folk music musician. Together, they moved to Detroit, where they separated. When Chuck departed for Canada, Joni opted to stay in America, where she began getting exposure performing in New York City. There was a burgeoning folk music scene, and Joni seemed to fit right in. She released her first self-titled acoustic album in 1968. Not only was Mitchell recognized for her fluid singing and guitar style, but she was also a prolific songwriter, penning songs and scoring top hits for many other famous artists. Her second album, Clouds, reached an even bigger audience, but Mitchell wouldn't see a top twenty hit until 1970's Ladies of the Canyon, with "Big Yellow Taxi". That same album contained "Woodstock", which became an anthem for a generation of hippies when played by Crosby, Stills and Nash. In 1971, she released Blue, which was much more dark and serious. Still, in 1972, she did a complete turn-about with the jazz-influenced For the Roses. Throughout her career, Mitchell would become well-known for her stylistic changes. Never afraid to take a new chance, she would venture into strange combinations of music, never compromising her musical integrity along the way. Court and Spark, which was released in 1974, would prove to be a poppy direction for her, and it received much acclaim and radio airplay, with songs like "Help Me" and "Free Man in Paris." The following year, she released The Hissing of Summer Lawns, which was an avant-garde jazz experiment. Hejira, recorded with the famous jazz musician Jaco Pastorius, experimented with world music sounds, and would prove to be far ahead of it's time. In 1977, Mitchell released Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, which would prove another style change for her, as she experimented more with jazz sounds. In 1982, she released the poppish Wild Things Run Fast. Since the 1980's Joni has continued to release less-significant albums, as well as intermittently releasing a greatest hits compilation.

Instruments Played / Skills:
Guitar Songwriter Vocals


Joni Mitchell Has Worked With:
Jaco Pastorius

Artists That Were Influenced By Joni Mitchell:
Prince Joan Armatrading Mary Chapin Carpenter Carlene Carter Tracy Chapman Holly Dunn Connie Eaton Ann Wilson Nancy Wilson
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"There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another."

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