The crowd was larger, more expectant this time, as they waited for Joni Mitchell to mount the Troubadour stage Tuesday night and begin her return engagement.
Since her last opening here, on the ill-fated night of Robert Kennedy's assassination, a virtual cult of Joni Mitchell followers has grown and moved the Canadian-born songstress into national prominence.
Such folk artists as Judy Collins and Dave Van Ronk have had successes by using her songs. Her haunting lyrics and beautifully simple melodies have made her a leader in the song writing field.
Dave Van Ronk opened the show. His numbers included "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" by Randy Newman, "Revenge Upon Barney Cornfeld" and Joni Mitchell's "Clouds."
During his performance, the downpour outside kept up a furious pounding on the building and Van Ronk had to compete with it to be heard. He succeeded well despite the inconvenience.
Joni Mitchell followed and went into her first song, "Chelsea Morning." While the crowd greeted the number wildly, the rain suddenly stopped.
Van Ronk later remarked, regarding the courtesy of the rain's cessation, "She has a special arrangement with God."
Among the songs she sang, some of her best known, was "I Had a King," it typified her compositions which are described as fairy tales about herself and her life.
She also included "Circle Game," a poetic account of a children's game that illustrates the cycle of life. Another was Dino Valenti's lyrical "Come On People Now, Smile On Your Brother, Everybody Get Together, Come On and Love One Another Right Now."
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