Archive for Matthews Southern Comfort

The Mother of Woodstock

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on August 8, 2009 by 30daysout


Joni Mitchell was one of the best singer/songwriters to come out of the late 1960s, and in many minds she’s identified with the Woodstock festival although she spent that historic weekend downstate, in New York City.

Mitchell is, of course, the warbling Canadian whose complex songs nevertheless propelled her into stardom and became hits mainly for other people (Judy Collins with “Both Sides Now,” Buffy Sainte-Marie with “The Circle Game” and country singer George Hamilton IV with “Urge For Going.”).  She had her own hits- “Help Me” and the album Court and Spark in 1974 – and has influenced everyone from Stevie Nicks to Sheryl Crow to Annie Lennox to Natalie Merchant.

But you may have already begun hearing one of her best-known songs, “Woodstock,” covered most famously by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  Back in 1969, Mitchell was invited to perform at Woodstock but her manager didn’t want her to miss a scheduled appearance on Dick Cavett’s ABC-TV show.   So she stewed in the Big Apple while her buddies (including then-boyfriend Graham Nash) transformed Max Yasgur’s farm into ground zero for that era’s pop culture universe.

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