She told the women who listened “You too can do this~”
Like in “Cry Baby”?
This woman who we saw take the entire nation and then the world by storm with her raunchy style became an icon of many music fans. More so what she shared with us is that women do have their place in the world of Rock n Roll. Not just in pop, folk, and country where women had felt at home from the beginning. Women can do it just as sweet and successful as men can. Janis is the one who paved that road golden for those wanting a life in the rock n Roll industry. Before Janis there were female artists, many living a lie. They wanted to do their own thing in classic rock, but had been told over and over; it’s “not a place for a woman” And Joplin said, “Excuse me?”
In her rich Texas drawl Janis Joplin then would add, “NO Way! That’s not who I am.”
Born January 19, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas, Janis Joplin developed a love of music at an early age, but her career never really took off until she joined Big Brother in 1966. Their album Cheap Thrills was a huge hit, but caused strife between Joplin and the band. Joplin left and her second solo album “Pearl” became her most successful, but she died of an accidental overdose before it was released.
And she broke our hearts. I named my youngest daughter after Janis Joplin. Until my Janis was in her 7th year in school she hated her name. All it took was a groovy English teacher to hear why she was named Janis. It was a school assignment about why you were named your name. and when her English teacher thought this pretty cool I was instantly a credible & responsible mom again in my daughters eyes.
Musically, Joplin and her friends gravitated toward blues and jazz music, admiring such artists as Leadbelly. She also was inspired by legendary blues vocalists Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey and Odetta, an early leading figure in the folk music movement. The group also frequented local working-class bars in nearby Vinton of Louisiana. By her senior year of high school, Joplin had developed a persona of sorts — a ballsy, tough-talking girl who like to drink and be outrageous.
n 1962, Joplin left again to study at the University of Texas at Austin. There she started performing at folksings — casual musical gatherings where anyone can perform — on campus and at a local club with the Waller Creek Boys, a musical trio she was friends with. With her forceful, gutsy singing style, Joplin amazed many audience members. She was unlike any other white female vocalist at the time — folk icons Joan Baez and Judy Collins were known for their gentle sound.
( I so wanted to emulate her voice and octave range, but found her genre was not my style.)
In 1966, Joplin returned to San Francisco to audition for Big Brother Holding Company, which consisted of James Gurley, Dave Getz, Peter Albin, and Sam Andrew. The group was part of the burgeoning San Francisco music scene of the late 1960s, which also included such bands as the Grateful Dead, Its a Beautiful Day, Quicksilver Messenger Service, just to name few. The band Big Brother was impressed with Joplin and wanted her to join the group. In her early days with Big Brother, she only sang a few songs and played the tambourine in the background.
It was not long before Joplin assumed a bigger role in Big Brother as the group developed quite a following in the San Francisco area. There is a lot to be said about the entire scene of the then San Fransisco music community. In my mind if the band was not United Kingdom born and it was any good, it was because it came out of he San Francisco Bay area. All you need is to journey through my music collection to know this is how I still feel.
After a long struggle with substance abuse, Joplin died from an accidental heroin overdose on October 4, 1970, at a hotel in Hollywood. Joplin is a member of a club that NO one wishes to be a member of; The 27 year Club. To many musicians lives were lost at age 27. For more information see link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club
Completed by Joplin’s producer, her album “Pearl”was released the next year and quickly became a hit. The single “Me and Bobby McGee,” which was written by Kris Kristofferson, reached the top of the charts of San Francisco.
Many female vocalists (no just classic rock) have Janis Joplin to thank for her courage, and her on stage bravado. It was not an easy business for any woman to be in at the time. Remember this was before women were becoming empowered.
We thank Janis for her commitment to Rock n Roll, She led the way for so many of us. It’s too bad that drugs and alcohol beat her, she would have taken us for quite lovely long ride.
The Last 24 Hours Janis Joplin~ read about Joplins last 24 Hours below. see actual film at YouTube.com – same title