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Big Yellow Podcast

Author: Allison Rapp

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Examining the life and work of Joni Mitchell.
10 Episodes
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Like others who have been on this show so far, Paul Myers is someone I’ve never met in person, but somehow I felt a kinship with him when we spoke, perhaps because of his roots in Toronto, which I grew up right across the border from in Buffalo.Throughout his career, Paul has done a little bit of everything: record making, writing, radio hosting, podcasting, etc. Which to me meant I needed to bring my A-game when interviewing him for this episode. Fortunately, another truth about Paul, like many Canadians I’ve known, is he is easy to get along with and felt like an old friend over Zoom despite us never meeting.Given his musical and Canadian background, Paul was the perfect guest, and I’m still thinking about the sweet story he tells here about passing Joni-lyric love notes between himself and the woman who would ultimately become his wife.That’s just a small snippet of our conversation. Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
If you’re part of the online Bob Dylan community — yes, that’s very much a thing and it’s made up of many wonderful people — then you likely know Laura Tenschert’s name. She’s the host of the Definitely Dylan podcast series, which she started as a radio program several years ago. Laura is also, as it turns out, a fellow Joni fan, whose music she fell in love with before Dylan’s. The history between Dylan and Joni stretches back decades and displays…the spectrum of artistic connection. Competition, camaraderie, complaining, compliments. Here, Laura and I dive into this history and attempt to make a bit of sense of the relationship between two of the most prolific and influential creators of all time. You can also follow Laura on Twitter and Instagram!Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
Joni Mitchell released her debut album, Song to a Seagull, in March of 1968. Here are the basics about it…Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
When I first started dabbling in music journalism, more or less all of the writers I was familiar with were men. It took several years of exploration, work, and research to learn of more women in my field, and one of those people was Ann Powers, whom I’ve admired and looked up to since.Like some of my other guests, Ann and I have never met, but it seemed like fate that she happened to be releasing a book about Joni Mitchell the same year I was launching a podcast about her. That book, Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell, is of course the subject of this episode. It’s an illuminating read — insightful, honest, personal at points — and offers a different kind of “music biography” experience, in my opinion.But I’ll let Ann and I’s chat fill you in on that…here’s a link to the book for those who are interested: Traveling.Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
Back in 2019, my boyfriend at the time gifted me a copy of David Yaffe’s ‘Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell,’ the first book I’d ever read about her.When I finished that book, a fascinating and much more up close look at Joni than I had previously encountered, I wrote to David to express my thoughts. We’ve been friends since, have eaten meals in the West Village with fellow writers, run into one another at Elvis Costello shows, etc. Now, I’m pleased to have him as a guest on Big Yellow Podcast.David’s experience interviewing Joni over the course of several years – as you’ll hear him describe in this episode – was not always stress-free. There was bumpy road on both sides, but really, what would a book about an artist like Joni be without that? I recommend David’s book because it sees Joni talking about periods of her life during a period of her life that was both an ending and a beginning — there was still miles of ground to cover as far as Joni looking backward on her own terms. It was around this time that Joni’s “legacy” really started to solidify.But here are David’s words. Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
In which Joni travels from Calgary to Toronto, writing one of her first original songs along the way, and finds herself pregnant and alone at 21 years old.In which Joni also gets married, puts her daughter up for adoption and moves to Detroit, gets divorced and moves again to New York City, where her music starts to catch the attention of fellow folksingers.And in which Joni meets a one David Crosby in Florida and travels with him to Los Angeles…Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
A conversation with award-winning songwriter and recording artist Margo Price. Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
Where Joni Came From

Where Joni Came From

2024-05-1514:47

Hello! Welcome to the first, non-guest episode of Big Yellow Podcast. As previously mentioned, my general plan is to post some ancillary episodes in between guest interviews, to give listeners a bit of context and background information. These episodes aren’t meant to cover every last point of Joni’s life and career — there are excellent books, articles, videos, etc out there for that purpose — but hopefully these will provide just a little additional knowledge for those who might want it. First up: Where Joni Came From…Thanks for listening x* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
I’d never met David Wild when I asked him to be the first guest for Big Yellow Podcast — and I still haven’t “met” him, since we spoke over Zoom. But David was gracious enough to be my inaugural interview, and for that alone I’m supremely grateful to him.You may recognize David’s name from a number of Rolling Stone bylines, where he worked for quite some time, including a handful of interviews with Joni Mitchell herself. But for the last many years he’s been one of the writers for the Grammys, which obviously I needed to know everything about since being left in tears over Joni’s captivating 2024 performance of “Both Sides, Now” at the ceremony in which she also took home the award for Best Folk Album.If you’d like to hear more from David, he’s part of a fabulous podcast series with Phil Rosenthal called Naked Lunch, which you can check out here. (Available on Apple and Spotify)And also, I highly recommend reading his interviews with Joni mentioned in this episode, some of the most illuminating of her career:A Conversation With Joni Mitchell (1991)Morrissey Interviews Joni Mitchell: Melancholy Meets Infinite Sadness (1997)Q & A: Joni Mitchell (2002)Thanks for listening!* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
Hello! Welcome to this preview episode of Big Yellow Podcast, a show about Joni Mitchell. My name is Allison Rapp and I’ll be your host as we explore the life and work of one of music’s most fascinating innovators. It was Joni Mitchell who once wrote that "songs are like tattoos," indelible marks left not only on one's surface, but one's insides, too. Mitchell's music has made those kinds of marks on listeners since her recording debut in 1968. Her career, infiltrated at points by misogyny, misunderstanding and moments of deep, human pain, has become considered one of the purest creative endeavors ever made. From stalwart of the folk music movement to jazz composer, polio-survivor to painter, Mitchell has reinvented herself multiple times over, all while remaining true to her artistic cause. Mitchell suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015, an event that forced her to relearn how to walk, talk and sing. But in 2022, Joni began her triumphant return to the public eye, appearing at the Newport Folk Festival for the first time since 1967. With the assistance and encouragement of singer-songwriters like Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Allison Russell and many more, Joni performed live again in 2023 at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State (I was there!), and again at the 2024 Grammys, her first time ever performing at the prestigious ceremony. It was also Joni who wrote that we’re captive on the carousel of time, we can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came — now in her 80s, Joni is still proving that there is always a way to move forward. Let me tell you a little bit about myself, too. I’m a longtime Joni fan, since childhood, and a committed journalist based in New York City. I’m currently an assistant editor with Ultimate Classic Rock, and I’ve interviewed the likes of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Roger McGuinn, Judy Collins, and a lot more. You can read my writing at allisonrapp22.com or follow me on twitter @allisonrapp22.On the coming episodes of Big Yellow Podcast, I’ll speak with guests from all walks of life — authors, musicians, and fans, some of whom have spent personal time with Joni — to speak to the power of her life, work and lasting legacy.But before that, you can subscribe to Big Yellow Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.You can also follow the show on social media: @bigyellowpod on Twitter and Instagram, as well as under the title Big Yellow Podcast on Facebook.I hope you’ll join me in getting back to the garden, there’s a lot of stardust and golden up ahead. Thanks for listening.* Allison Get full access to Big Yellow Podcast at allisonrapp.substack.com/subscribe
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