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

Hailed as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century, Joni will receive the prestigious Les Paul Innovation Award at the 35th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards (NAMM TEC Awards), being held Saturday, January 18, 2020 in Anaheim, California. The award is given on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation to honor individuals that have set the highest standards of excellence in creative application of artistry in the spirit of the famed audio pioneer, inventor and musician, Les Paul. More information here.

The Barnes and Noble book store chain has selected MORNING GLORY ON THE VINE to be part of this year’s #BNSignedEditions selection for holiday. Copies of the book, hand-signed by Joni, will be at B&N stores and online starting Saturday, November 16.

For all concerned, know that Joni is safe and sound from the fire threatening the area.

I always dreamed of seeing my book in a bookstore window. This feels even better than I imagined.
- Joni Mitchell

Thank you, Book Soup in Los Angeles for this beautiful window display featuring Joni’s new book Morning Glory on the Vine.

In the image, taken on release day, you can see reflected in Book Soup’s window the old sign from Tower Records on Sunset—in that store over 40 years ago Joni had her first window display of an album. Photo courtesy of Hannah K. Johnson.

We saved the best review for last. Our official recap of the stunning Brandi Carlile performance of the entire Blue album on Monday night. Reviewer Sam Stone takes you there.

The Grammys' expansion of their definition of traditional pop resulted in a spike in the number of entries in its best traditional pop vocal album category, from 55 last year to 81 this year.

The expansion brought in such entries as the all-star Joni 75: A Joni Mitchell Birthday Celebration (Live), Barbra Streisand's Walls, Elvis Costello & the Imposters' Look Now and Bryan Ferry and his Orchestra's Bitter-Sweet. The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards will be will be held January 26.

The ‘Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration’ album will be released on vinyl as part of the Record Store Day Black Friday celebrations in the US on November 29! The 2-LP set will be pressed in a limited edition of 3,000 copies and available from any participating local record retailer. A wider release will occur at a later date.

More information on Record Store Day Black Friday is 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. 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-sixth 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. More information here.

Jerry Lawson, who for four decades was the lead singer of the eclectic cult-favorite a cappella group the Persuasions, has died. He was 75. Lawson died Wednesday at a Phoenix hospice after a long illness, longtime friend and sometime Persuasions producer Rip Rense said.

Lawson's smooth baritone led the group of five and later six singers, who were revered as the "The Kings of a Cappella" by their small but devoted fan base. Through 25 albums the Persuasions recorded rock, blues, gospel and pop songs, all with no sound other than their own voices, long after the doo-wop era and long before the "Pitch Perfect" movies, when a cappella was rare. -Andrew Dalton

The Persuasions accompanied Joni on her 1979 tour, doing an opening set, then being brought back to join Joni on "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and "Shadows and Light".

In October of 1967, Buffy Sainte Marie urged a young talent scout from the Chartoff-Winkler Agency to come listen to Joni perform at the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City. Smitten immediately with her talent, the young man pitched being Joni's manager. "I don't need a manager, I'm doing quite nicely", Joni replied.

But he was a funny man, Joni enjoyed his humor, and before long he was managing Joni's career. And it was just a few months later, in March of 1968, that Elliot Roberts negotiated Joni's first record contract with Reprise Records.

Elliot managed Joni until 1985, and had just recently begun doing so again. A true legend in the music industry, Roberts also landed a record deal for Neil Young, co-managed CSN&Y, conceived the idea of Tom Petty backing Bob Dylan in the 1980s and helped launch the careers of Tracy Chapman and the Cars.

Born Elliot Rabinowitz on February 25th, 1943, Roberts was raised in the Bronx and initially hoped for a basketball career before turning to music. Elliot died this morning at age 76.