A Guide to Women in Canadian History
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Joni Mitchell (1945- )
Singer and songwriter, poet and painter
Joni Mitchell at Fort Macleod, Alberta in January 1969.
(Frank Prazak/National Archives of Canada/PA-211916)
If you know the famous song "Woodstock" you're familiar with the work of Joni Mitchell. The Canadian singer is one of the most influential musicians of her time. In 1981 Joni Mitchell had the honour of being inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame and in 1997 she became the first Canadian woman named to the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The legendary performer and songwriter received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 - the first Canadian to earn this recognition.
Joni Mitchell's roots are in Western Canada. Born in Fort Macleod, Alberta, the girl named Roberta Joan Anderson grew up in Saskatoon. A victim of polio as a child, she studied piano and the baritone ukulele before picking up a guitar. Joni began writing songs when she moved to Toronto, where she met musician Chuck Mitchell. Adopting the stage name of Joni Mitchell after their marriage, she began performing in Ontario and the northern United States. Joni's first album, Song to a Seagull was produced by David Crosby after she moved to New York City. Joni Mitchell's fame grew as musicians such as Judy Collins and Buffy Sainte-Marie began singing her songs.
Canadian singer Joni Mitchell soon became a celebrity, known around the world. She toured widely, performing in concerts and festivals, and recorded 21 popular albums in about 30 years. Throughout her impressive career in the music business Joni has maintained full control of her work and influenced other artists. Her music has ranged from folk to jazz and rock.Discover more
A teaching module re Joni Mitchell, from PBS.
Tom Manoff writing about Joni Mitchell.
Official Joni Mitchell website.
Article re a tribute in April 2000 in New York City. Films/Video/Television:
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