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Joni mention on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Disk

[2006]

I thought it would have been reported by now, but I've just caught up with the digests and can't see it mentioned, so let me tell you. Last Sunday the interviewee for this long running radio programme was Renee Fleming, the opera singer. One of the 8 songs she chose for her desert island was her own jazzy version of "River". She told the interviewer how nervous she had been about what Joni would think of her cover, and how truly relieved she was when she was told by a friend who had played it for Joni, that she liked it. It was very clear what a great fan Renee is, how she really felt intimidated by "the great Joni Mitchell".

At the end of the programme she had to choose one of the 8 records that she would choose to keep if the rest were flooded away, and she said something like: "I find it impossible to choose one singer as best singer. So it will have to be Joni Mitchell, I'll take "River", but sung by Joni Mitchell herself." So the way I understood her was: as a classically trained singer she could not choose one other classical singer to listen to all the time, but she wanted to take Joni because that was more than just "singing", it was thewhole package of words and music and personality.

(Contributed by Lieve Reckers)

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