News archive

JoniMitchell.com has been bringing you the news on Joni since the day the website went live in 1996. It's all archived and searchable here. In addition to the news, you can find an archive of "upcoming tributes and events" that have been listed on the site as well.

News archive

Joni scholars will recognize the name Frankie McKitrick. Joni: "The first record that I had to have was a classical piece of music. At that time we were living in North Battleford, and my best friend was a musical prodigy, Frankie McKitrick. His feet could barely reach the pedals of the church organ but he could play the thing. And we had gone to a movie. It was called “The Story of Three Loves” and the theme was Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a Theme” by Paganini. Beautiful melody. I had to have that record. That was my first piece of inspirational music..." Frankie passed away on August 9.

LOS ANGELES - On February 1, 1969, almost a year after Joni Mitchell released her debut album Song to a Seagull, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter was standing on stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City playing the first major concert of her young career for a sold-out crowd that included Bob Dylan. Graham Nash, who was Mitchell's partner at the time, was there too, along with her parents visiting from Canada. Her performance that night earned glowing reviews, including this one from Billboard's Fred Kirby:

"Joni Mitchell charmed a packed Carnegie Hall audience on Saturday...Miss Mitchell doesn't merely sing a song, the fine folk artist effectively interprets her material. And what a lineup of material! Beginning with 'Chelsea Morning" and ending with a medley of 'The Circle Game' and the new 'Little Green,' the outstanding material flowed."

Fatefully, her label Reprise Records recorded the entire concert with plans to release it. More than 50 years later, the show will finally make its long-awaited debut on November 12 as part of JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 2: THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971). On the same day, the performance will be released separately as a 3-LP set on 180-gram vinyl for $59.98, with an exclusive 180-gram, white vinyl version, limited to 3,000 copies, available at www.JoniMitchell.com. The vinyl showcases the full audio across five LP sides with the sixth side featuring an etching of the American eagle that donned Mitchell's skirt at the Carnegie Hall show. As a preview, Mitchell's performance of "Chelsea Morning" from the show is available today digitally. Listen here.

MusiCares announced today that Joni has been chosen as the 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year. Mitchell is the honoree of the 31st annual Person of the Year benefit gala.

Proceeds from the event will provide essential support for MusiCares, the leading music charity providing music professionals health and human services across a spectrum of needs. The tribute will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sat, January 29, 2022, two nights before the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"We are so excited to bring together an amazing line-up of artists to celebrate the musical legacy of Joni Mitchell," said Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares. "She is being honored not only for her iconic music and lyrics, but for her trailblazing spirit and the inspiration she's brought to so many artists."

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. It includes a reception and silent auction, offering an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind items for bidding guests, followed by a dinner and tribute concert, featuring renowned musicians and other artists paying tribute to Mitchell.

"I’m honored to be chosen as person of the year by this great charity,” said Joni, “I look forward to being part of this gala that will help MusiCares continue their inspired work in providing a support system for those in need.” More information here.

On March 19, 1968, a 24-year-old Joni Mitchell was in the midst of a two-week residency at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, playing to rave reviews in anticipation of her debut album, Song To A Seagull, which was set for release just a few days later on Reprise. Not long before Mitchell was scheduled to take the stage, Jimi Hendrix was just finishing his second sold-out show of the night at the Capitol Theater a few blocks away. Earlier in the day, Hendrix had spoken to Mitchell and noted his plans to record her in his diary entry for that day:

“talked with Joni Mitchell on the phone. I think I’ll record her tonight with my excellent tape recorder (knock on wood) . . . hmmm . . . can’t find any wood . . . everything’s plastic”

Following his two performances on that night, Hendrix rolled in to Le Hibou with his reel-to-reel recorder as promised and kneeled in front of the stage, unnoticed by most, and recorded Mitchell’s two sets that evening. As he also noted in his diary, Hendrix, like many others at the time, was mesmerized by Mitchell: “fantastic girl with heaven words.”

Were you in attendance at this event? Let's talk!

Listen to the entire song on this page, and read the press release here.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 44th lifetime achievement award winners. They are: Motown founder Berry Gordy, opera star Justino Díaz, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, entertainer Bette Midler and television impresario Lorne Michaels, who created Saturday Night Live. More information here.

Tomorrow will be the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece, Blue. To celebrate, Rhino is releasing two new collections that offer different perspectives on one of the greatest albums ever made and the inspired period of creativity that made it possible.

Rhino kicks off the celebration today with the release of BLUE 50 (DEMOS & OUTTAKES), a digital EP that debuts five unreleased recordings (see visualization at right) from the making of Blue that will appear on the upcoming Archives collection. The striking cover of the BLUE 50 EP features the original Blue color treatment with a previously unseen alternate photo of Mitchell by Tim Considine from the same session as the original.

All five of these tracks will also be included in JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 2: THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971), which will be released on October 29 as a 5-CD set ($64.98). The music will be available the same day exclusively at JoniMitchell.com as a 10-LP set ($249.98) on 180-gram vinyl that will be limited to 4,000 copies. Any ARCHIVES VOL.2 music product purchased on the official Joni Mitchell store comes with an exclusive 7”x7” art print featuring a never-before-seen illustration by Mitchell from the era. More information here.

Patrick Sky was an American singer songwriter, folk musician, guitarist, producer, and accomplished builder and player of the Irish uilleann pipes. Patrick was of Irish and Cree Indian descent- a seminal figure, along with Eric Anderson and Buffy Sainte-Marie, in the folk music revival in the mid-1960s. Notably, Patrick produced recordings by the legendary blues guitarist and singer Mississippi John Hurt for Vanguard Records.

Joni and Patrick were on the same billing at least twice, once on the Let's Sing Out program in October of 1965, and again at a Syracuse University gig in December of 1969. Patrick was the inspiration for song The Last Time I Saw Richard, as revealed in Michelle Mercer's 2009 book Will You Take Me As I Am: "...this is where that song came from,” [Joni] said. “Patrick Sky, a fellow folksinger, said to me one night in a bar in New York, 'Oh, Joni, you're a hopeless romantic. There's only one way for you to go. Hopeless cynicism. That one little nugget became the song."

Patrick died this morning in Ashville, North Carolina, surrounded by family. He was 77 years old. [Photo by David Gahr, 1965]

Joni Mitchell & Rhino announce a new, limited-edition LP of material culled from the recent acclaimed set, 'Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1968).' This 12-song LP is strictly limited to 15,000 copies and will be available in stores starting June 12, 2021 for RSD Drops.

Side 1:
House of the Rising Sun
Pastures of Plenty
Seven Daffodils
Urge for Going
Day After Day
The Circle Game

Side 2:
Both Sides Now
Born To Take the Highway
Blue On Blue
Strawflower Me
Chelsea Morning
I Don't Know Where I Stand

All tracks previously released on the 5-CD box set Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), Rhino box set. Check your local independent record store!