Joni Mitchell to receive Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in March

WTOP's Jason Fraley salutes Joni Mitchell's Gershwin Prize (Part 1)

The Library of Congress has named its next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The prestigious honor will go this year to the legendary folk singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

Born in Alberta, Canada, in 1943, Mitchell later moved to California in the 1960s to sign with Reprise Records and release her first album “Song to a Seagull” (1968).

Her second album “Clouds” (1969) featured iconic folk tunes like “Chelsea Morning” and “Both Sides, Now,” providing dual perspectives on life’s ups and downs.

Her third album “Ladies of the Canyon” (1970) included hits like “Woodstock,” “The Circle Game” and “Big Yellow Taxi,” turning urban sprawl into an environmental anthem.

Her 1971 album “Blue” featured iconic songs like “California” and recently ranked No. 3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

That same year, Robert Plant paid homage to Mitchell with the Led Zeppelin hit “Going to California” with the lyric, “A girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.”

Mitchell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2021.

Now, she will add a Gershwin Prize to her mantle with an all-star tribute concert at DAR Constitution Hall on March 1 that will air on PBS on March 31.

Past recipients include the cream of the songwriting crop: Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Carole King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Garth Brooks and Lionel Richie.

WTOP's Jason Fraley salutes Joni Mitchell's Gershwin Prize (Part 2)
Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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