According to longtime friend David Crosby, Joni Mitchell suffered a brain aneurysm in late March, and has not been able to speak since.

“Nobody found her for a while. She took a terrible hit,” Crosby says.

To me, she represents everything a singer/songwriter can be, and there are so many famous pieces that rose to popularity.

I chose this one. It spoke to me then, and in many ways, still does.

It is also one of the most pure, soulful live performances of her early career.

From a Canadian music program called “Let’s Sing Out”, in glorious black and white, from 1966, this is “Urge for Going”.

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33 Responses to Silenced

  1. LaVagabonde says:

    Sad news. So many gifted artists are fading away.

    • There is good stuff out there, but you have to go looking for it sometimes.

      I love her song writing, but when she goes into that upper register, I cringe, just a little. It might be why other artists recorded her stuff in the early days. But her lyrics…sheer brilliance.

  2. Love Joni. Her illness is so very sad. I heard she had to stop singing a few years back, having lost her ability from smoking way too many years. But you are right about her talent. Unparalleled. Recently I heard my daughter singing, “Both Sides Now” to her two-year-old son. As he began to sing along, I began to cry. Somehow in 1970 when I sang along with Joni I never imagined being a grandmother to a little boy would sing it with me. The power of a great song, I guess — appeal that reaches through time and the ages.

    • A 2 year old singing “Both Sides Now” That’s a long way from “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” !! Props to your daughter, Debby.

      • My daughter has excellent taste in music. But her choice of songs with him has been impressive even to the old hippie who is me. “Angel from Montgomery” as a lullaby was not in my repertoire. I’m more a “House At Pooh Corner” kind of Grammy. However, hearing, “It’s clouds illusions, Mommy” coming out of my grand boy’s mouth when Mommy forgot the words was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard.

      • Remarkable. He is on his way to being something quite special. Keep an eye on that one, Debby. ☺ ❤️

      • I suspect I will. Some days, both eyes! Thanks.

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    A true poet, and the voice of the heart of a generation.

  4. George says:

    So sad to have a special voice silenced. Great song choice. Bittersweet.

  5. The very first concert I went to was performed by Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez. Not until years later did I realize how special it was. Sorry to hear about her declining health.

  6. Amy says:

    Very sad. What a beautiful song. Thank you for sharing it.

  7. I love her voice, always have. I’ve never heard this song before – thanks for sharing it Van! ❤
    Diana xo

  8. She is one of Canada’s truly great treasures. An true artist.

  9. Beautiful. Didn’t know of Joni’s health issue.

  10. writerinsoul says:

    I didn’t know this. I am a Joni fan too. I once read where she essentially said she’d tired of critics saying her best work was in the past, and that she was giving up and agreeing with them. It puzzles me who continues to put out successful music over the years, staying fresh & current, and who does not. It’s sad for this end, though, a singular talent.

    • She had quite a run, she put out an album recently where her songs were backed up by a full orchestra. It is a thing of beauty, and introduced some of her old stuff to a new generation. Not sure if it was commercially successful, sadly.

      • writerinsoul says:

        Van, I found the following just now on Wikipedia (Joni Mitchell page): “…However, Joni Mitchell’s conservator, Leslie Morris, later released a statement saying that “details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative. The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she’s speaking well. She is not walking yet…” “

      • Well…that’s interesting. Thanks for the update. ☺

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