Watch a young Joni Mitchell sing ‘Urge For Going’ in one of her first TV performances, 1966
We’re dipping into the Far Out vault to bring you a special moment in the then-fledgeling career of the esteemed Joni Mitchell from back in 1966 on Let’s Sing It Out
In a time way off in the future, when historians look back at our society, Joni Mitchell will undoubtedly be one of the cultural columns of music. Her unquestionable talent for composition and her magnetic vocal will always leave an indelible mark on whoever hears it and such become a pillar of history for it.
Sometimes, looking back at a pop icon’s musical career, it can be hard to see anything but the legend, to have your head turned by the mystique of their music, or to always think that their path was fate. It can be hard to remember that, like anyone else, these artists and icons had their ‘first time’ like everybody else.
The first song they wrote, the first time they played a show, first time they recorded, the first time they went on TV.
We thought it would be important to look back at one of the earliest TV performances of Joan Andreson, the maiden name of Joni Mitchell.
Here’s a quite simply breath-taking performance from a very young and very talented Joni Mitchell on the Let’s Sing Out TV show, hosted by the renowned Canadian folk singer Oscar Brand. Mitchell had not yet left for New York and immersed herself in the new folk music Mekkah, instead, she bares all the raw talent of a game-changing artist.
At a time when many male singers were simply performers, here we have Mitchell sing her own composition, ‘Urge for Going’ which is better known as Tom Rush’s cover version. It was a small mark of her brilliant songwriting that another artist can take her words as their own.
Her vocal is simply breathtaking and the effortless way she plays the guitar belies the huge amount of work that Joni put in. Having had polio at an early age, Mitchell had to develop custom tunings for her guitar so she could play the songs how they sounded in her head and not what her fingers and hands would allow her to do.
It is this level of determination and passion which is not only seen in Joni’s future career, nor her drive to create one for herself but is, most importantly, heard and felt in her songs. It all begins somewhere for legends in the music industry and you can pinpoint Joni Mitchell’s to this performance here.