If—like happened to me this morning—the very first thing that assaulted your unsuspecting consciousness when you woke up today was the whole “SHOCKING CLAIMS: Pervy Ted Cruz Caught Cheating — With 5 Secret Mistresses! The romps that could destroy his presidential campaign!” story, as seen in the National Enquirer, which is oh so (not so) coincidentally owned by Donald Trump’s old pal David J. Pecker—and who’s that lady on the far-left?—then you probably need some mental floss. A palette cleanser if you will, to wash the taste of Ted Cruz getting squishy with anyone other than his wife, out of your mouth. There is something utterly terrifying about this, isn’t there? Not in a political sense—no one loves Republican schadenfreude more than I do—but simply in a gross, visceral, oily weasel-flesh kinda way. Ted Cruz. Sex. Get that visual out of my mind. Vivid Video would probably offer Cruz a million dollars to destroy his celebrity porn video. Make it stop. Nobody wants to think about Ted Cruz having sex. So let’s not.
So to brighten your day, fine people, here are some little-seen performances by a young—and so very, very beautiful—Joni Mitchell on the Canadian folk music program Let’s Sing Out in 1965 and 1966. When you consider how many crucial and formative TV performances by young musical giants have been lost—or even worse deliberately destroyed—that these early recordings still exist seems almost miraculous. This was just a low-budget folk hootenanny taped at various colleges around Canada. Thankfully someone preserved these recordings. She’s like an angel just beginning to take flight here. It’s stunning stuff.
In this first clip from Let’s Sing Out, Joni (then going by her maiden name, Joan Anderson) can be seen with Patrick Sky and the Chapins, the trio of folk-singing brothers that included Harry Chapin, who later became famous for songs like “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Taxi.” Taped at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
Joan Anderson, Dave Van Ronk and the Chapins on Let’s Sing Out, 1965:
With Bob Jason and the Allen-Ward Trio on Let’s Sing Out. Mitchell sings her “Night in the City” and later does a playful duet with host Oscar Brand on Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Prithee” (from their 1881 opera Patience). That starts at about the 9:30 mark:
With Bob Jason and Jimmy Driftwood in 1966: