The 1970’s Pt. 3

Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic from 1975

I received some feedback on the first two 1970’s posts citing that there were “some forgotten songs mentioned, and yet they came back immediately in my head” which is all part of the fun.

Music of the 1970’s

Parts one and two focused on three major sources; the Billboard charts, Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs and from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. A few other references were used and I will try not to repeat myself as I would like to give an overview of the decades music. It was a time of much social change and we saw the introduction of many new music styles that still impact the music of today.

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Gospel Music

Gospel Music

What do you think of when you hear the words Gospel Music? It depends on your background to a great extent, such as religious ties and beliefs, geography, family, ethnicity, and what music you have been exposed to, not to mention personal preference. My interest leans toward the impact that Gospel has had on Popular Music. A brief look at the history shows us Anglican Church roots dating back over 250 years such as “Amazing Grace” (1772) written by the Cleric John Newton, or “Rock of Ages” (1763) written by Reverend Augustus Toplady. The term is believed to have been first printed in the 1874 publication by Philip Bliss, Gospel Songs: A Choice Collection of Hymns and Tunes. There is, as we all know many types of Spiritual Music that is tied to Indigenous Peoples around the world, not to mention ritual songs from many different faiths and beliefs. But today the music focus is about the Gospel rooted in the American South.

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Instrumental Songs

Instrumental Pop Songs

The instrumental Pop song is very much a thing of the past. At one time there would be several instrumentals on the mainstream charts, some would even hit #1. These days pop artists rarely release singles without vocals, such fare is relegated to the odd addition on an album or in a live performance while the singer takes a break. There are of course instrumental versions of well known popular vocal songs, “Over the Rainbow“(1939) is a melody everyone knows and since David Rose and His Orchestra released the first instrumental in 1942 there are at least three or four new versions every year, totalling into the many hundreds. In 1965, the same year “Yesterday” came out George Martin and His Orchestra released an instrumental version titled “Scramble Egg“, while nobody uses the original working title there are over 500 non-vocal tracks of the song, such as a recent one by the Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola. The Beatles themselves recorded some instrumental songs though none of them were hits; their first was as The Quarrymen and another while acting as Tony Sheridan’s backup band, as The Beatles there was “12 Bar Original” (not released until 1996), also “Flying” from the Sgt. Peppers Album, their last was “Cry for a Shadow” as a tribute to the British Instrumental group The Shadows.

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New Wave

New Wave…

was a period of music during the late 70’s to the early eighties and identified as a departure from the Punk Rock scene. It developed into a more diverse ‘grass roots’ pop oriented if you will, music that became much more commercially viable. So named from the “La Nouvelle Vague” (New Wave) cinema from France that was instrumental in turning movie making away from the more traditional approach.

New wave was not a genre as artists from all over with different types and styles of music began getting lumped in together. There were many artists that came from Punk music roots to transition into more mainstream production, I’ve mentioned a few in past posts but to me the best example is The Clash. Firmly rooted in Punk Rock since 1974 its collective members formed one of the leading bands to come out of the UK at that time. They are important to the ‘New Wave’ movement with their 1979 album ‘London Calling’ and the title track “London Calling“. Referred to as  ‘post-punk’, as Punk rock popularity took a serious slide in 1977/78. As evidence the line in the song “Phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust” might reflect the Clashes realization that the Punk glory days were over.  So to me the Clash moving to more mainstream but still ‘edgy’ music was just a bridge to the ‘New Wave’ sound.  Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders (so named from the Platters song “The Great Pretender“) is also a great example. Her transition from Punk started with the single “Stop Your Sobbing” (1979) which was a great adaptation of the Kinks song from 1964. This song was produced by Nick Lowe who was an early influencer in new wave.

Rarely do new developments in music trends happen in isolation, nor do they happen because everyone sat around a table (no Skype or Facetime back then) and said “hey let’s make some new wave music”. As always there are a few exceptions if I understand the whole ‘boy-band’ thing but I’m getting off track.

So, elsewhere there were other new and exciting artists making ‘waves’ with their sound as well and not all of it top 40 hits either. Elvis Costello (btw Nick Lowe produced his first four albums, co-produced the fifth and is still making new music himself) whose roots are in the British ‘Pub Rock‘ scene came out with songs like “Alison” (1977). A great cover from Linda Ronstadt. It was a bit of an underground movement and certainly within my circle or friends with artists like Costello, as at the time this song did not chart at all but is ranked at #318 of the 500 Greatest Songs by Rolling Stone (2014). Also from Costello “Watching the Detectives” (1978). The Ohio based band Devo made a splash in 1977 with “Mongoloid“. Other early influencers were Blondie with the great “One Way or Another” released in 1979 from the 1978 Album ‘Parallel Lines’, and The Cars with their second album ‘Candy O’ and “Let’s Go” (1979).

With some electro synth-pop came The Human League with the initially commercial unsuccessful but never the less influential “Empire State Human
(1979) and Gary Numan “Metal” (1979) both with heavy German techno-pop influences.

The Georgia based B-52’s “Rock Lobster” (1978) was a huge party hit with the College and University crowd. Joe Jackson’s debut effort with songs like “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” (1978) placed him firmly in the mix after it’s re-release in July 1979 became a hit. Inspired by co-writer Doug Fieger’s girlfriend, the real ‘Sharona’ Alperin (who posed for the pic on the album sleeve) “My Sharona” (1979) from the Knack. The Police had a huge hit with “Roxanne” on their debut album ‘Outlandos d’Amour’ (1978). The Squeeze started to gain notice in 1979 with “Cool for Cats” from their second album. I know I’ve missed several but you get the general idea.

A few of these artists would go on to successful careers in the 1980’s and well beyond, but in the early days they paved the way for these artists:

Duran, Duran “Girls on Film” (1981), The Go-Go’s “Our Lips are Sealed” (1981), A Flock Of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away)” (1982), Culture Club with the very talented Boy George with hits like “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” (1982), Bananarama hit top 5 with a cover of a minor Motown hit from the Velvelettes (1964) “He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ ” in 1982, the first solo effort from a new wave pioneer, Adam Ant was a smash hit “Goody Two Shoes” (1982) and near the end of the ‘new wave’ last but not the least, Tears for Fears with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (1984).

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_PageSecondhandsongs.com
https://www.cs.ubc.ca/~davet/music/list/Best9.html

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity.  Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner.

World Music

Women of World Music

When it comes to music outside of my usual purview, generally that being for the most part Canada, the U.S. and the British Isles, this is what I’ll refer to as ‘World Music’. Vague definitions aside it is easy for me to decide where to begin.

In 1915 in Belleville, Paris, France, a little girl named Édith Giovanna Gassion was abandoned by her mother at birth and dropped off by her father on his way to fight in WW1 to be raised by his mother in her brothel in Bernay, Normandy. There is a story she (and others) had told that she was blind from the ages of 3 to 7 when she was miraculously cured after a religious pilgrimage. By age 14 she had left the brothel and rejoined her father who was a street performing acrobat. She soon met her half sister Simone “Mômone” Berteaut and in 1930 the two began singing and performing together, earning enough to rent their own room at the Grand Hôtel de Clermont. Soon after Édith’s boyfriend moved in to the tiny room and at the age of 17 she had a little girl. Ill equipped to handle a child, relationship and a more than full time job singing, sadly the little girl Marcelle would die at age two while living with her father, apparently from meningitis.

In 1936 Édith’s now burgeoning career was sidelined after her possible involvement in the death of nightclub owner Louis Leplée. She changed her name to Édith Piaf and in 1944 met Yves Montand at the Moulin Rouge. She wrote “Mais qu’est-ce que j’ai ?” (music by Henri Betti) for Yves. Édith revolutionized cabaret performing while becoming the most popular singer in France. She toured internationally and “La Vie en rose” would become her signature song and is still known word for word in France generations later. With eight appearances on the Ed Sullivan show and two at Carnegie Hall she was an American superstar. Her life was shortened by pain, unbearable tragedy, controversy, alcohol and drugs. She died in 1963 of liver cancer, at age 47. While Piaf wrote the song ‘La vie en rose’ (with the Louis Guglielmi) she first offered it to singer Marianne Michel who recorded it in 1945. Piaf would be the next to record it in 1947. There are over 320 versions of this song of love and happiness. I believe the first english version is by Bing Crosby (1950), Yves Montand (1967), Grace Jones (1977), Michael Bublé featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant (2018) and seemingly the most popular version ever, at least on YouTube at over 44 million views is Daniela Andrade from Montreal.

Astrud Gilberto (born Astrud Evangelina Weinert, March 29, 1940 (age 79) was raised in Rio De Janeiro. She married the bossa nova pioneer João Gilberto, but soon after started a relationship with his musical collaborator Stan Getz. She is best known for her contribution to the cover song “The Girl from Ipanema” (Norman Gimbel wrote the english lyrics) by Stan Getz & João Gilberto (1962). The song was written by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, originally performed in a medley tune entirely in Portuguese “Garota de Ipanema” (by her husband João Gilberto and the two writers). From that initial two minutes of memorized english lyrics (as she spoke none) in the song with João Gilberto, Astrud has made a career of singing bossa nova’s, samba’s and American standards. João’s Portuguese was edited out and the song was released as a single selling over 1 million copies while she toured the U.S. and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Some are critical of the fact she was untrained and had never sung professionally before. Those that can appreciated her unassuming and low key style truly understand her talent. Although she looks somewhat terrified in this video clip it was after all her very first television performance. She toured and recorded with Stan Getz for several years but has gone on to record 16 studio albums with songs like “Corcovado“, “Samba de Verão“, “Manha De Carnabal” and “Fly me to the Moon“. She recorded songs in at least six different languages.

Susanne Sundfør was Born and raised in Haugesund, Norway. She is a wonderfully talented and creative singer-songwriter, musician and producer. “White Foxes“, “Fade Away” and “Mountaineers” (featuring John Grant).

Sia Furler (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler) is an Australian singer-songwriter that you have heard before. Her smash hit song “Chandelier” took the world by storm in 2014 with videos starring Maddie Ziegler. This of course was not her first worldwide hit either, “You’ve Changed” came out in 2010. She spent many years in the business including lead singer for Zero 7, before teaming up with the likes of Christina Aguilera and writing songs for the movie ‘Burlesque’.

Ioanna Mouschouri, born October 13, 1934 is known professionally as Nana Mouskouri. Trained as a classical singer Nana gravitated toward Jazz with influences such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. She has released over 200 albums and has singles in at least twelve different languages, including Greek, French, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Welsh, Mandarin Chinese and Corsican. A native of Greece she grew up in Athens and came to national notice for winning at the Greek Song Festival in 1959 and 1960. Where to start and where to end with such an amazing and prolific career, for now just this short note about a remarkable artist. Although she has recorded many original works such as “Je chante avec toi Liberté“. She is perhaps best known internationally for her cover versions of songs like; “Plaisir d’amour” and “The White Rose of Athens“.

Celia Cruz (October 21, 1925-July 16, 2003) grew up in Havana, Cuba. A natural vocalist, her Aunt would take her around to local Cabarets to sing. Referred to as the ‘Queen of Latin Music’ and the ‘Queen of Salsa’. While on tour in Mexico after the Cuban Revolution her band ‘La Sonora Matancera’ all decided to move to the U.S. where she became a citizen in 1961. She has received many honours including seven Grammys, a Star on the Walk of Fame and The National Medal of Arts. She appeared in several movies and produced dozens of albums. “La Negra Tiene Tumbao“, “Bemba Colora“, “Melao de Caña“.

Angélique Kidjo born July 14, 1960 (age 58), Ouidah, Dahomey (now Benin). Know as Africa’s premier Diva, via Paris she now lives in New York City. With over a dozen albums to her credit, she is a humanitarian, an actor and has received countless awards including a Grammy in 2008. “Quimbara“, “We We“,
Summertime“.

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_PageSecondhandsongs.com
Images: http://www.astrudgilberto.com/index.html, Angelique Kidjo Photo: Sofia and Mauro.

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

HBD Richelle!

Crooners

Crooners

As defined in a google search; croon·er, noun. a singer, typically a male one, who sings sentimental songs in a soft, low voice.

Rudy Vallée

I’ve read most singers we might put into this category don’t or didn’t identify with the classification and even today some feel the term is somewhat pejorative. That said I may actually be able to find one song like “As Time Goes By” and list a cover version from just about every crooner in history, but I won’t do that to you today. However as it happens that song was written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 and was used in the Broadway musical ‘Everybody’s Welcome’ performed by Frances Williams. First recorded by one of the original crooners Rudy Vallée in July of that same year. If you are a movie buff you will recognize the song from Casablanca (1942), sung by Sam (Dooley Wilson), later released as a record in 1943. Covered over 430 times.

Chronologically here is a list of Crooners from another well researched blog https://jackscohen.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/crooners/.

While not the exclusive domain of the male singer I will follow with the traditional classification and deal predominately with the ‘followers’ of the Al Jolson, Rudy Vallee and Al Bowlly style. Truth be told there are a lot of ‘greats’ but the ultimate king of the crooners is Frank Sinatra. He has performed over 100 original songs that have been covered and over 600 songs that he has covered. I’ve already referenced Frank a dozen times but still it’s tough picking songs as there are so many exceptional ones. As I pointed out in the Paul Anka post, ‘My Way” is technically a cover as the music is from another song, the new lyrics written by Anka were specifically for Sinatra. If I focus on his original songs and look to Secondhandsongs.com the most covered at 286 (vocal and instrumental) versions is “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” (1940) by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra – Vocal refrain by Frank Sinatra. As was the style back then, the Orchestra and Band Leader were the feature, the vocalist chiming in later in the song was secondary. Covered by another crooner, the ‘Velvet Fog’ Mel Tormé (1955), also Cassandra Wilson (1988), Micheller Myrtill & Pintér Tibor (2011) and yes believe it or not Bob Dylan.

The next most covered song at 285 versions is “I Fall in Love Too Easily” (1945) from the movie ‘Anchors Aweigh’, written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. Covered first by the amazing Chet Baker (1954) check out his biopic Born to be Blue starring Ethan Hawke. The under appreciated Sammy Davis Jr. (1960), Matt Dusk (2013).

One more Frank song, at 272 covers is “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” (1955) written by David Mann and Bob Hilliard. Cover by another fine crooner Andy Williams (1959).

Bing Crosby for some is the the finest of male voices, and hard to argue with such an amazing career. With numbers to rival Sinatra at 94 originals and 542 cover songs. However when it comes to the holidays it’s hard to beat “White Christmas” written by Irving Berlin for the 1942 movie ‘Holiday Inn’ at over 1300 covers and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” (1943) written by Kim Gannon, Walter Kent and Buck Ram with over 800 versions. I defy you to find a more beautiful song than the Cole Porter classic “True Love” from the movie High Society (1956) performed with Grace Kelly. Cover by Elvis (1957).

Here are some more fine voices; Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Rocker turned crooner Bobby Darin and Michael Bublé (sorry Steve!). My apologies if I’ve missed your favorite but there are more cover songs and more posts to come so there is still time!

References: https://secondhandsongs.com/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page images: http://www.rudyvallee.com/bio.html

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

1959

The Year 1959

That’s 60 years ago if you’re counting. A five cent piece was actually made of nickel hence the nickname, and you could actually buy things with it, now it’s mostly steel and only 2% nickel and not worth the metal its made from. Among other events that year, Fidel Castro arrived in Havana, February 3 was “the day the music died” and the Barbie doll was born on March 9th. Call it reflection, self indulgence or a bit of both, here is a look at some of the popular songs from the year that myself and many others in my life were born.

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” written and performed by Johnny Cash. While released in December of 1958 this was a chart topper from 1959 hitting #1 on Feb. 23 and finished the year ranked #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Country Songs.  U2 (2001).

Bobby Darin was the only artist to have two songs finish the year in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100. I blogged the #1 song (‘Grammys’ Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans”). He hit #6 with “Dream Lover“, and at #2 was his version of “Mack the Knife“. This song has an interesting background, it was adapted from “Moritat von Mackie Messer” (sung by Kurt Gerron .39 mark in the clip-from a 1928 stage production) music written by Kurt Weill and Lyrics written by Bertolt Brecht, it’s from their music drama “Die Dreigroschenoper” known in English as “The Threepenny Opera”. Darin’s recording is based on the English lyrics by Marc Blitzstein who translated the whole play. Before Darin did the song, new ad-libbed lyrics were added in 1955 by Louis Armstrong, for example; in honour of “Lotte Lenya” (original star of both the German and English plays) who was present during his recording session for this first version of the song based on the English lyrics. Darin’s rendition one of over 340, includes this addition as well as some of his own words with references to other ‘real life’ people.

The year end #1 Country song was from the very popular family group “The Browns“.  This time based on a French song, “Les trois cloches” by Edith Piaf & Les compagnons de la chanson (1946) written by Jean Villard. Translated into English by Berthold Reisfeld and first recorded by The Melody Maids in 1948. Edith Piaf would record an English version in 1950. All leading up to the sixth English version from The Browns (Jim Ed, Maxine, and Bonnie) , “The Three Bells“. This song also ended the year #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

So what does one of Garth Brooks biggest hits have to do with 1959? Nope, he was born in 1962. The song “Mr. Blue” performed by ‘The Fleetwoods’ hit #1 in November and ended the year at #10. It was written by Dewayne Blackwell who just happened to write “Friends in Low Places” along with Earl Bud Lee. First released in 1989 by David Chamberlain, but Brooks was the first to record it as a Demo in 1988 and would re-record it for his debut Album “No Fences”. It was of course a smash hit going to #1 and won ‘Single of the Year’ in 1990 at both the ACM and CMA awards. Brooks also covered “Mr. Blue” on that album and Bob Dylan did it as well (Basement Tapes) though I can’t find a decent video of either version. Mike Preston also had a #12 hit in the UK with this song in 1959.

Caterina Valente (Jan. 14, 1931) a French born Italian, was a huge international singing sensation and in 1959 she was nominated for a Grammy in the ‘Best Vocal Performance, Female’ category for this song “La Strada Dell’Amore” written by Hans Bradtke and English by Jack Reardon. Recorded originally in German, Valente was fluent in 6 languages and sang in at least another 6. Her flawless vocals in all languages were equally matched by her remarkable guitar playing. Here is a clip from the Mike Douglas show. Known for her comedic timing as well she was a frequent guest with Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Perry Como and Danny Kaye. She also acted in several movies and was an accomplished dancer. I don’t think there’s been anyone as talented. Coincidentally I ran across this, she released it in the US on Decca Records in 1959, a version of “Mack the Knife”, or “Complainte de Mackie” recorded in German (originally in 1956).

North American Song Awards and Charts were much more ‘international’ in this time, with many foreign language songs and artists offering a diversity that is somewhat lost today.

This was a big year for Jazz music with pieces like “Take Five” written by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet from the Album ‘Time Out’. This song was shortened for a single release, and would not chart until it’s re-release in 1961 where it hit #25 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #5 on the Easy Listening Chart, also #6 in the UK on the Record Retailer chart. This would go on to become the biggest selling Jazz single of all time.

Other great Jazz releases from 1959; Miles Davis “So What” from what many consider to be Davis’s and possibly Jazz Music’s greatest Album “Kind of Blue” I have this album and I can tell you it’s remarkable. Ornette Coleman who wrote “Lonely Woman” from the album, ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’ developed a unique sound with a plastic saxophone. He was quite innovative and set off a new movement of ‘avant-garde jazz’ which is related to ‘free jazz’. Now that I’ve mentioned it; Ornette couldn’t afford a proper sax at one time, hence the plastic horn, he also played the violin and trumpet-no plastic there I’m pretty sure. The always amazing Ella Fitzgerald would win the Grammy for ‘Best Jazz Performance – Soloist’ for the Album ‘Ella Swings Lightly’ with songs like a cover of “Blues in the Night” Music written by Harold Arlen and the Lyrics written by Johnny Mercer. Originally written for the movie “Blues in the Night” (1941) performance by William Gillespie. Covered over 200 times according to SecondHandSongs.com. While not released until January 1960, another Saxophonist John Coltrane would record the iconic Album ‘Giant Steps’ between two sessions in May and December of 1959.

Some surprises to me at least that made the year end Billboard Top 100 songs! Morgen by Ivo Robic, Petite Fleur by Chris Barber’s Jazz Band w/Monty Sunshine on clarinet and Battle Hymn Of The Republic by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr. better known as the Big Bopper, “Chantilly Lace“. He performed this in 1959 at the last concert he, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens would perform at the ‘Winter Dance Party’ in Clear Lake Iowa.

Ritchie Valens, “Hurry Up” released posthumously in October 1959, written by Shari (Sharon) Sheeley, Eddie Cochran’s fiance who survived the 1960 car accident where he died from his injuries and singer Gene Vincent was seriously hurt.

It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” written by Paul Anka and performed by Buddy Holly. He sang this song at his last stage appearance. It was released less than a month before his death in a plane crash that killed the pilot and his two performance friends near Clear Lake on February 3, 1959.
I’ll blog more about this when I do Buddy Holly. Thanks to Don McLean’s American Pie (1971) this event has been dubbed “the day the music died”.

A playlist of all the videos.

References: https://secondhandsongs.com/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Pagehttps://www.allaboutjazz.com/1959-the-most-creative-year-in-jazz-various-artists-by-nathan-holaway.php,

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well! And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Born Roberta Joan Anderson, November 7, 1943 (age 74) Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada
I have included some covers of Joni’s songs in previous posts but there is more to be said about her amazing talent and song writing ability. Firstly, her guitar playing is superb and what makes it all the more remarkable is the fact she had polio as a child (age 9) and as a result has weakness in her left hand in particular. Despite this she learned ukulele, piano and then guitar creating her own tunings to compensate, resulting in a very unique sound. While standard tunings (determining the string pitch) were then commonly used, Joni turned to open tunings which reduced the dependency on her left hand. If you research guitar tunings Joni Mitchell comes up frequently and remains a guide and influencer in this area. Rolling Stone ranks her at #75 of the world’s best guitarists and she (along with fellow Canadians Sue Foley and Liona Boyd) ranks in the top female guitarists on just about any other authoritative list you can find.

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