Credit: YouTube

Watch vintage footage of a pre-fame Joni Mitchell sing on Canadian television

It’s always interesting to see one of the icons of music in their early days. Here, we take a look at some vintage footage of Joni Mitchell, before she even became Joni Mitchell.

The singer, seen in the video below, is a part of the ensemble for folk singer Oscar Brand’s folk music show ‘Let’s Sing Out’ which aired on Canadian television through the mid-sixties.

The show, which took a travelling band across university campuses, was famed for launching the careers of some of the best folk singers around, most notably Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell. The latter of which is seen in this compilation video as her career began to reach fruition.

In fact, it’s so early in the Blue singer’s career that she’s still using her maiden name in the first clip. Shot at The University of Manitoba in 1965, Mitchell is going by Joni Anderson, taking Chuck Mitchell’s name after they married in 1966. Yet even without her stage name, Mitchell is a star in waiting as she performs ‘Born To Take The Highway’.

It’s a collection of clips which begin with a very delicately poised Mitchell. However, around the 15 minute mark in the video below, we see Joni make a distinct change. It’s now 1966, Mitchell is now… Mitchell and the artist is clearly beginning to assert her identity into her performance.

During her last performance at Laurentian University, the regaling folk ditties of frolicking mountains and western sunsets are put aside and a more intuitive and heartfelt set is laid out for the gleeful audience. Mitchell was establishing herself as an artist and only a year later she would move to New York.

Following a short career as a songwriter, Mitchell maintained her passion for performance and soon her talent was spotted. David Crosby saw Mitchell performing at the Gaslight Club and soon flew her out to L.A. The sweet girl from the Canadian folk sing-a-long had begun her journey to one become of the best songwriters the world has known.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content