Barry Bowman finds Joni Mitchell’s First Recordings in his Basement

Former Victoria radio personality Barry Bowman recorded a then unknown Joni Mitchell in 1963 while working at a radio statin in Saskatoon. Adrian Lam, Times Colonist

by Mike Devlin

Times Colonist

September 15, 2020

Two long-forgotten tapes featuring the first recordings of Joni Mitchell have come out of storage and into circulation, thanks to a serendipitous turn of events involving retired Victoria broadcaster Barry Bowman.

Bowman, who spent three decades on air at CFAX 1070, was a disc jockey at CFQC AM in Saskatoon when he first met Mitchell in 1963. She was an inexperienced 19 year-old playing music under her given name (Joni Anderson) when Bowman brought her into the CFQC studio for an hour-long session. Nine songs were recorded that night, featuring just Mitchell and her ukulele, which she hoped to use as an audition tape to attract managers and booking agents. “I propped her on a stool, put a mic in front of her went in the booth and put down the recording,” Bowman said.

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  1. Great story from beginning to end .

    It seems like everyone mentioned in this story went out of their way to do the right thing and get the music out to the fans that have followed Mitchell for all of those decades .

    I hope they sell a million .

  2. This artist had an amazing amount of songs that “could” be played on Canadian oldies stations. Instead, we are treated to the same 4 songs. Over and over. For the past 60 years. Over and over. Surely, that paradise covered over by the parking lot has been re-developed by now.

  3. What Oh Brother said! CKUA played that song today and I thought about your comment.
    “ A case of you” has always been a personal favourite .


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