Happy Birthday to Joni Mitchell who turns 75 today. The Canadian singer-songwriter and painter is one of the most influential female musicians of the late 20th century. Her many hit songs include ”Both Sides Now,” “Chelsea Morning,”  “Big Yellow Taxi,” “A Case of You,” “River,” “California,” and “Free Man in Paris”—all recorded before she was 32.

Joni Mitchell-small-her-website-cropHer distinctive open-tuned guitar was prompted by her childhood bout with polio which afflicted her fingers. Joni said the improvised tuning freed her songwriting, and was “a tool to break free of standard approaches to harmony and structure”. A 75th birthday tribute concert last night and tonight in L.A. will feature Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Graham Nash, Seal, and Rufus Wainwright. (1943)

Three years ago she suffered a brain aneurysm and she also suffers from a rare disorder called Morgellons disease. A biography about her life, Reckless Daughter, was released last year. Wish her a happy birthday at WeLoveYouJoni.comPhoto via JoniMitchell.com

More Good News on this Date:

  • The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, was first published (1665)
  • US legislation established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as a federally-funded nonprofit to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content—like Mister Rogers—earmarking 70% of funds to 1,400 locally owned public stations (1967)
  • Congress overrode President Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Resolution to limit presidential power to wage war without congressional approval (1973)
  • Doug Wilder in Virginia became the first elected African-American governor in US history and David Dinkins became the first African-American mayor of New York City (1989)
  • Mary Robinson became the first woman to be elected President of the Republic of Ireland (1990)
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first former First Lady to win public office in the United States (2000)
  • Nancy Pelosi became the first woman speaker of the house in United States history, third in line to the president (2006)
  • Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, became the first Muslim elected to Congress (2006)
  • Wisconsin voted to elect Tammy Baldwin to become the country’s first openly gay U.S. senator, by a margin of 51-46 (2012)
  • First-time candidate Danica Roem in Virginia became the first openly transgender woman in the nation to win a seat in a state legislature (2017)