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A sunshine melody: Joni Mitchell

The Story

Joni Mitchell's fame as a songwriter and folksinger is spreading. The prairie-bred musician has moved to Detroit and is performing regularly in clubs and festivals across the United States. In this clip, Mitchell explains why she stopped playing "beautiful but dreary" traditional English folk songs, and teaches Take 30 hosts Paul Soles and Adrienne Clarkson a drawing game that's fun for whiling away the time. Please note: this clip was edited to comply with ACTRA regulations.

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Hosts: Paul Soles, Adrienne Clarkson
Guest: Joni Mitchell
Broadcast Date: May 1, 1967
Duration: 13:18

Did You know?

• Joni Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort Macleod, Alta., on Nov. 7, 1943. Her family moved to Saskatoon when she was nine, and that's the city she considers her hometown.
• Because she couldn't afford a guitar, the teenaged Mitchell bought a baritone ukulele to play at parties.
• After high school, Mitchell enrolled in art school but dropped out after one year to move to Toronto and pursue a career as a folksinger.
• After moving to the United States in 1965, Mitchell became part of a growing movement of folk musicians. Some of her earliest success came when other singers recorded songs she'd written. These performers included Buffy Sainte-Marie and Judy Collins.
• In 1969, Mitchell was scheduled to perform at Woodstock, the hippie era's most famous music festival, but her manager advised her not to go lest she miss an appearance on the Dick Cavett Show that Monday.
• Mitchell's 1971 recording Blue catapulted her into the Billboard Top 20. Blue represented a departure for her, as it was a conscious effort to escape the "hippie goddess" image she'd acquired. Mitchell felt Blue -- with all its layers of emotion -- was a truer reflection of herself, uncontrived and honest.
• Mitchell would later describe herself as "a painter first and a musician second". Watch a CBC news report about her artwork.


Joni Mitchell: All Sides Now more