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Elizabeth “Betsy” Asher, a music industry insider and self-described political news junkie, died Dec. 18, 2018 in Los Angeles. She was 75. She was born April 9, 1943 on Parris Island, SC to Paul Burney Doster and Elizabeth Fredrickson.

Betsy worked in the coffee houses of New York’s Greenwich Village and as a publicist before moving to London. By the time she relocated to L.A., the musicians and songwriters she had known in the Village had become household names in rock music. Journalists and biographers often sought Betsy’s unique perspective on the career arc of some of the most iconic musical artists of the last century.

Betsy is referenced by Joni in Song for Sharon, and perhaps Moon at the Window as well.

A feature-length documentary, Laurel Canyon, is set to premiere later this year. The film, according to a press release, “will pull back the curtain on a mythical world and provide an up-close look at the lives of the musicians who inhabited it.” Alison Ellwood (History of the Eagles) will direct; the film will premiere later this year on EPIX.

Among the artists who will be featured are Joni, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, the Mamas and the Papas, Carole King, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, James Taylor, the Doors, Frank Zappa and more. More information here.

In 1971, as her album Blue topped charts around the world, Joni Mitchell crafted one hundred copies of Morning Glory on the Vine as a holiday gift for her closest friends (see original book). For this stunningly beautiful book, Joni hand-wrote an exquisite selection of her own lyrics and poems and illustrated them with more than thirty of her original paintings and watercolors. Hand-crafted, signed, and numbered in Los Angeles, the existing copies of this labor of love have rarely been seen in the past half-century.

Now, as Joni celebrates her seventy-fifth birthday, Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings is available widely for the first time. In this faithfully reproduced facsimile edition, Joni's best-loved lyrics and poems spill across the pages in her own elegant script. The lively, full-color watercolor paintings depict a superb array of landscapes, still-lifes, portraits of friends, self portraits, innovative abstractions, and more. All the paintings from the original book are included, along with several additional works that Joni had intended to include for her friends in 1971. Finally, the refreshed volume features an original introduction written by Joni herself. Morning Glory on the Vine is a gorgeous and intimate keepsake and an invitation to explore anew the dazzling, visionary world of Joni Mitchell. More information here.

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25 Upcoming Tributes and Events

Do you know of a Joni-related event we've not listed here? Email the information to us and we'll post it here. You can also request our official Facebook page to co-host the event, and we'll pick up the info there.

Due to popular demand, John and I will be presenting an expanded version of Joni Mitchell's Blue Album Tribute Concert entitled: Joni's Blue and Her Blue Lovers on May 9th, 10th, 23rd and 24th at The Monkey Hill Bar at 6100 Magazine Street in New Orleans. Besides presenting all the songs from the Blue Album, we will include songs from the men who inspired these songs, including Graham Nash, James Taylor, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. More information here.

Katie Catinella seems to have channeled the romance and spirit of Joni. This is no mere recreation of sounds and looks; this is an artist’s recreation of the album and the artist. Every song beckons you back to the Age of Aquarius, every anecdote is informative and interesting. Katie is amazing with her interpretations. John Cain accompanies on lead guitar and piano, and balances tasteful with terrific. Monkey Hill Bar Annex, 6100 Magazine Street, New Orleans. Reservations:

In the 1960s, Toronto developed one of the world’s most vibrant music scenes, with folk, blues and rock performers who went on to international acclaim. In this whirlwind tour of the musical culture that flourished on Yonge Street and in Yorkville through the end of the decade, Curious Minds favourite Dr. Mike Daley (The Beatles and their World; Leonard Cohen: Words and Music) will bring these legendary artists—and they world they inhabited—to thrilling new life.

Using archival video, photos and recorded music, he’ll immerse us in the sights and sounds of the historic venues where they performed and showcase the extraordinary talents of musicians like The Band, Ronnie Hawkins, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. He’ll celebrate the world-renowned icons who got their start here in our city and the local stars whose musical talents left an enduring legacy.

This course is led by Dr. Mike Daley, a music historian and professional musician who has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities. More information here.

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