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Arts & Culture

Joni Mitchell: 'Blue' Turns 50

Reprise Records
'Blue' is Joni Mitchell’s fourth studio album, released on June 22, 1971, by Reprise Records. It was written and produced by Mitchell and recorded in 1971 at A&M Studios in Hollywood, California.";

Joni Mitchell's album Blue turns 50 this year. It may not have the artistic sophistication of her later albums, but Mitchell's vulnerability endeared her to fans, if not early critics unused to such intimate storytelling. That was okay with Mitchell. She said her "music is not designed to grab instantly. It's designed to wear for a lifetime, to hold up like a fine cloth."

She was right. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Blue the third-greatest album on its 2020 list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time," a move up from No. 33 in 2017.

We talk with musicians and critics about the album Blue and more.


  • Peter Kaminsky - Professor of music theory and associate department head of undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut
  • Steve Metcalf - A journalist, music critic, pianist, and composer, and director emeritus of Presidents' College at the University of Hartford
  • Carolann Solebello - A singer-songwriter, a founding member of the Americana trio Red Molly, and a member of the Jack Hardy Songwriters Exchange; she tours with the folk quartet No Fuss and Feathers

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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