Joni Mitchell: The Canadian Introvert Turned American Superstar

Welcome to the Stage, Joni Anderson

On October 21, 1964, a young woman named Joni Anderson was introduced on stage by the owner of the Half Beat Club in Toronto, Canada. “Tonight we have for your entertainment, Joni Anderson,” the club’s owner John McHugh told the small but lively crowd.

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Photo by Valley Music Ltd / Shutterstock

“Joni’s been appearing here for the last two weeks — and will be for the next three weeks, starting Monday.” He emphasizes the second half of that sentence, the part that covered his young, new performer’s immediate future. “We have her under contract. We hope she won’t — well, we know she will stay here. We know you’ll enjoy her as much as we have. Let’s give her a bit of a welcome.”