When you list the iconic folk singers of the '60s and '70s, a lot of males pop up - men like Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel. Yet there is one female singer-songwriter that is easily mentioned in the same breath - Joni Mitchell. Music was intensely personal in Mitchell's life. Born Roberta Joan Anderson in Alberta, Canada, in 1943, she was struck with polio at age nine. It was during her recovery that she discovered herself as a performer, singing for other patients. She taught herself to play guitar using Pete Seeger's books, and from then on, through college, became a staple of Alberta's music scene. She married folksinger Chuck Mitchell and adopted the moniker Joni Mitchell. After she moved with Chuck to Detroit, Michigan, they split up, but she remained in the city, focusing on her music and gaining local recognition. It was there that David Crosby (of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) offered to produce her debut record. From there she took off, writing songs for the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Fairport Convention, and Judy Collins among many others.
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