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Backstage with Janis Joplin on her birthday

No Lies Radio Music – By Teri Perticone – Friday 19 Jan 2018

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Janis Joplin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Janis Lyn Joplin January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American rock singer and songwriter. She was one of the biggest female rock stars of her era.[1][2][3] After releasing three albums, she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. A fourth album, Pearl, was released in January 1971, just over three months after her death. It reached number one on the Billboard charts.


Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee

In 1967, Joplin rose to fame during an appearance at Monterey Pop Festival, where she was the lead singer of the then little-known San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company.[4][5][6] After releasing two albums with the band, she left Big Brother to continue as a solo artist with her own backing groups, first the Kozmic Blues Band and then the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She appeared at the Woodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour. Five singles by Joplin went into the Billboard Hot 100, including a cover of the song “Me and Bobby McGee”, which reached number 1 in March 1971.[7] Her most popular songs include her cover versions of “Piece of My Heart”, “Cry Baby”, “Down on Me”, “Ball ‘n’ Chain”, and “Summertime”; and her original song “Mercedes Benz”, her final recording.[8][9]


janis joplin–cry baby

Joplin, highly respected for her charismatic performing ability, was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Audiences and critics alike referred to her stage presence as “electric”. Rolling Stone ranked Joplin number 46 on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time[10] and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She remains one of the top-selling musicians in the United States, with Recording Industry Association of America certifications of 15.5 million albums sold in the USA.[11]

Janis Lyn Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on January 19, 1943,[12] to Dorothy Bonita East (1913–1998), a registrar at a business college, and her husband, Seth Ward Joplin (1910–1987), an engineer at Texaco. She had two younger siblings, Michael and Laura. The family belonged to the Church of Christ denomination.[13]

Her parents felt that Janis needed more attention than their other children.[14] As a teenager, Joplin befriended a group of outcasts, one of whom had albums by blues artists Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Lead Belly, whom Joplin later credited with influencing her decision to become a singer.[15] She began singing blues and folk music with friends at Thomas Jefferson High School.[16]

Joplin stated that she was ostracised and bullied in high school.[15] As a teen, she became overweight and suffered with acne, leaving her with deep scars that required dermabrasion.[14][17][18] Other kids at high school would routinely taunt her and call her names like “pig”, “freak”, “nigger lover”, or “creep”.[14] She stated, “I was a misfit. I read, I painted, I thought. I didn’t hate niggers.”[19]

Joplin graduated from high school in 1960 and attended Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont, Texas, during the summer[17] and later the University of Texas at Austin (UT), though she did not complete her college studies.[20] The campus newspaper, The Daily Texan, ran a profile of her in the issue dated July 27, 1962, headlined “She Dares to Be Different.”[20] The article began, “She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levis to class because they’re more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song, it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin.”[20] While at UT she performed with a folk trio called the Waller Creek Boys and frequently socialized with the staff of the campus humor magazine The Texas Ranger.[21]

janis-joplin-family

Early recordings and personal life: 1962–1965

Joplin cultivated a rebellious manner and styled herself partly after her female blues heroines and partly after the Beat poets. Her first song, “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do”, was recorded on tape in December 1962 at the home of a fellow University of Texas student.[22]

She left Texas in January 1963 (“Just to get away,” she said, “because my head was in a much different place”),[23] hitchhiking with her friend Chet Helms to North Beach, San Francisco. Still in San Francisco in 1964, Joplin and future Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen recorded a number of blues standards, which incidentally featured Kaukonen’s wife Margareta using a typewriter in the background. This session included seven tracks: “Typewriter Talk”, “Trouble in Mind”, “Kansas City Blues”, “Hesitation Blues”, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”, and “Long Black Train Blues”, and was released long after Joplin’s death as the bootleg album The Typewriter Tape.


“Ego Rock” Janis Joplin Live (Rare Song about Port Arthur)

In 1963, Joplin was arrested in San Francisco for shoplifting. During the two years that followed, her drug use increased and she acquired a reputation as a “speed freak” and occasional heroin user.[12][15][17] She also used other psychoactive drugs and was a heavy drinker throughout her career; her favorite alcoholic beverage was Southern Comfort.

In May 1965, Joplin’s friends in San Francisco, noticing the detrimental effects on her from regularly injecting methamphetamine (she was described as “skeletal”[15] and “emaciated”[12]), persuaded her to return to Port Arthur. During that month, her friends threw her a bus-fare party so she could return to her parents in Texas.[12] Five years later, Joplin told Rolling Stone magazine writer David Dalton the following about her first stint in San Francisco: “I didn’t have many friends and I didn’t like the ones I had.”[24]

Back in Port Arthur in the spring of 1965, after Joplin’s parents noticed her weight of 88 pounds,[18] she changed her lifestyle. She avoided drugs and alcohol, adopted a beehive hairdo, and enrolled as an anthropology major at Lamar University in nearby Beaumont, Texas. During her time at Lamar University, she commuted to Austin to sing solo, accompanying herself on guitar. One of her performances was at a benefit by local musicians for Texas bluesman Mance Lipscomb, who was suffering with ill health. Another of her performances was reviewed in the Austin American-Statesman.


Janis Joplin – Down and Out (This is Janis Joplin)

Joplin became engaged to Peter de Blanc in the fall of 1965.[25] She had begun a relationship with him toward the end of her first stint in San Francisco.[25] Now living in New York where he worked with IBM computers,[26][27] he visited her to ask her father for her hand in marriage.[28] Joplin and her mother began planning the wedding.[18][28] De Blanc, who traveled frequently,[25] ended the engagement soon afterward.[18][25]

In 1965 and 1966, Joplin commuted from her family’s Port Arthur home to Beaumont, Texas, where she had regular sessions with a psychiatric social worker named Bernard Giarritano[18] at a counseling agency that was funded by the United Fund, which after her death changed its name to the United Way.[12] Interviewed by biographer Myra Friedman after his client’s death, Giarritano said she had been baffled by how she could pursue a professional career as a singer without relapsing into drugs, and her drug-related memories from immediately prior to returning to Port Arthur continued to frighten her.[18] Joplin sometimes brought an acoustic guitar with her to her sessions with Giarritano, and people in other offices within the building applauded after she finished singing a song.[12]

Giarritano tried to reassure her that she did not have to use narcotics in order to succeed in the music business.[18] She also said that if she were to avoid singing professionally, she would have to become a keypunch operator (as she had done a few years earlier) or a secretary, and then a wife and mother, and she would have to become very similar to all the other women in Port Arthur.[18]

Approximately a year before Joplin joined Big Brother and the Holding Company, she recorded seven studio tracks with her acoustic guitar. Among the songs she recorded were her original composition for the song “Turtle Blues” and an alternate version of “Cod’ine” by Buffy Sainte-Marie. These tracks were later issued as a new album in 1995, entitled This is Janis Joplin 1965 by James Gurley.

Big Brother and the Holding Company: 1966–1968

In 1966, Joplin’s bluesy vocal style attracted the attention of the San Francisco-based psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, which had gained some renown among the nascent hippie community in Haight-Ashbury.[29] She was recruited to join the group by Chet Helms, a promoter who had known her in Texas and who at the time was managing Big Brother. Helms sent his friend Travis Rivers to find her in Austin, Texas, where she had been performing with her acoustic guitar, and to accompany her to San Francisco.

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Aware of her previous nightmare with drug addiction in San Francisco, Rivers insisted that she inform her parents face-to-face of her plans, and he drove her from Austin to Port Arthur (he waited in his car while she talked with her startled parents) before they began their long drive to San Francisco. Joplin joined Big Brother on June 4, 1966.[30] Her first public performance with them was at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.


Janis Joplin – Maybe

In June, Joplin was photographed at an outdoor concert in San Francisco that celebrated the summer solstice. The image, which was later published in two books by David Dalton, shows her before she relapsed into drugs. Due to persistent persuading by keyboardist and close friend Stephen Ryder, Joplin avoided drugs for several weeks, enjoining bandmate Dave Getz to promise that using needles would not be allowed in their rehearsal space, her apartment, or in the homes of her bandmates whom she visited.[18] When a visitor injected drugs in front of Joplin and Getz, Joplin angrily reminded Getz that he had broken his promise.[18] A San Francisco concert from that summer was recorded and released in the 1984 album Cheaper Thrills. In July, all five bandmates and guitarist James Gurley’s wife Nancy moved to a house in Lagunitas, California, where they lived communally. They often partied with the Grateful Dead, who lived less than two miles away. She had a short relationship and longer friendship with founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan.[31]


Janis Joplin – Summertime

The band went to Chicago for a four-week engagement in August 1966, then found themselves stranded after the promoter ran out of money when their concerts did not attract the expected audience levels, and he was unable to pay them.[32] In the circumstances the band signed to Bob Shad’s record label Mainstream Records; recordings for the label took place in Chicago in September, but these were not satisfactory, and the band returned to San Francisco, continuing to perform live, including at the Love Pageant Rally.[33][34] The band recorded two tracks, “Blindman” and “All Is Loneliness”, in Los Angeles, and these were released by Mainstream as a single which did not sell well.[35] After playing at a “happening” in Stanford in early December 1966, the band travelled back to Los Angeles to record ten tracks between 12 and 14, 1966, produced by Bob Shad, which appeared on the band’s debut album in August 1967.[35]


Janis Joplin- Piece of my heart

One of Joplin’s earliest major performances in 1967 was at the Mantra-Rock Dance, a musical event held on January 29 at the Avalon Ballroom by the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple. Janis Joplin and Big Brother performed there along with the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami, Allen Ginsberg, Moby Grape, and Grateful Dead, donating proceeds to the Krishna temple.[37][38][39] In early 1967, Joplin met Country Joe McDonald of the group Country Joe and the Fish. The pair lived together as a couple for a few months.[12][24] Joplin and Big Brother began playing clubs in San Francisco, at the Fillmore West, Winterland and the Avalon Ballroom. They also played at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, as well as in Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia, the Psychedelic Supermarket in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Golden Bear Club in Huntington Beach, California.[24]

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Read entire article here

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Photo: Janis Joplin and her band Big Brother and The Holding Company.

RollingStones50yrs
Published on Aug 11, 2013

With Big Brother and the Holding Company, she performed the song at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 to an enthusiastic audience and critical reception. The first performance on June 17 was not filmed, so the band was persuaded to perform the song again on the next day. This shorter version (without James Gurley’s extended guitar solo) was released in the 1968 film Monterey Pop, while the longer June 17 version was released in 1995 on the Joplin compilation 18 Essential Songs. Janis Joplin – Ball And Chain (Amazing Performance at Monterey).

This was Janis’s intro to the world and they loved her! When ever she performed, people were mesmerized watching her. The Monterey Pop Festival was televised in part & independent film makers were there to document the event. Janis & her band Big Brother & The Holding Company was a good representation of the San Francisco music scene in the 60’s right along with Gracie Slick and the Jefferson Airplane. The music scene was never the same. After seeing this & other performances, turned-on, far-out people & free spirits from the US and all over the world came to San Francisco to check out the scene in the summer of 1967.


Janis Joplin – Ball And Chain (Amazing Performance at Monterey)

janis-joplin-standing-nude-1967-photo-bob-seideman
Photo: Famous iconic poster of Janis Joplin standing nude 1967 by Bob Seideman.


Janis Joplin – Get it while you can

Video source: www.youtube.com

Posted by Teri Perticone

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