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

Philadelphia’s Gene Shay — the voice of a music community for over 50 years, a celebrator and curator of folk music on the airwaves and an eager supporter of it from the stage — has passed away at age 85 from complications surrounding COVID-19. Shay debuted on Philadelphia radio in 1962 at WRTI, and hosted the Folk Show on WXPN from 1995 to 2015.

The impact and influence of that show cannot be overstated. Joni famously wrote her song “Both Sides Now” during downtime when she was playing two nights at Sansom Street venue The Second Fret, and premiered it with an acoustic performance for Shay and his listeners on the WDAS airwaves. [-John Vettese].

You can read a series of interviews with Gene and Joni here.

Wallace Roney, a trumpeter and composer who embodied the pugnacious, harmonically restive side of post-bop throughout an illustrious four-decade career, died Tuesday at St. Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. He was 59. The cause was complications from COVID-19. (Nate Chinen)

Wallace played trumpet for Joni on her 2000 "Both Sides Now" tour.

In a new book, available April 7, 28 crime writers pay tribute to Joni's musical legacy with short stories inspired by her lyrics, representing each of her seventeen studio albums from 1968's Song to a Seagull to 2007's Shine. Joni was once asked to explain a song: "Who cares what I meant, what does it mean to you?" This book answers that.

Lyle Mays passed away this morning in Los Angeles. Lyle was an integral part of Joni's 1979 tour with Pat Metheny, Jaco, Michael Brecker, and Don Alias. He and Pat's hauntingly beautiful transition between Amelia and Hejira stands as one of the enduring highlights of the tour. Lyle was a founding member of the Pat Metheny Group, providing arrangements, orchestration, and the harmonic and metric backbone of the group's musical signature.

Craft Recordings has announced the first-ever vinyl release of Joni’s 2007 album, Shine. Available April 3rd, and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI, the acclaimed title includes such tracks as “One Week Last Summer” (which received the 2008 GRAMMY® Award for Best Instrumental Pop Performance), and an updated version of Mitchell’s iconic 1970 track “Big Yellow Taxi.” More information here.

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.