On November 7, Joni Mitchell turns 76; hers is a birthday we always enjoy celebrating! Here’s a cool clip from The Dick Cavett Show from the day after the end of the Woodstock festival in August 1969. A number of musicians from the fest showed up (you’ll see Grace Slick, who just turned 80 last week, sitting next to Cavett) and it turned into quite a special TV event. Cavett’s show was a real magnet for hip musicians in that era, and I really recommend you scour YouTube for Cavett’s interviews with and performances by folks like John Lennon, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and so many others.
At the time of Joni’s appearance on the show, her Clouds album, where her version of “Chelsea Morning” appeared, had only been out a few months. The song was already fairly well-known, however, having been recorded by Dave Van Ronk in 1967, and in 1968 by Fairport Convention, Jennifer Warnes, and Judy Collins.
As a bonus, here’s a second birthday tribute to Joni: Aoife O’Donovan singing Joni’s “Coyote” on the NPR radio program Live From Here, featuring an incredible group that includes show host Chris Thile on mando, Armand Hirsch on guitar, Alex Hargreaves on fiddle, Mike Elizondo on bass, Abe Rounds on drums, and Jon Cowherd on piano. —Blair Jackson
And check out the Joni Mitchell lesson feature below from our February 2019 issue!