JANIS JOPLIN

Janis was perhaps the greatest female rock-n-roll singer of all time. She hailed from Port Arthur Texas , a loner in high school she immersed herself in music. She had a hard-gritty voice and was well-versed in the blues, emulating Black female blues artists such as Big Mama Thornton. In 1965 she headed for San Fransico and was singing in coffee shops when she was recruited By “Big Brother and the Holding Company” who were shopping for a lead singer. Her first album on Mainstream Records simply entitled “Big Brother and the Holding Company” tanked. She later signed with Columbia and began work on her breakthrough album “Cheap Thrills”. She made appearances at the “Monterray Rock Festival” and “Woodstock”. Her “Cheap Thrills” album which contained studio cuts and songs recorded live at the Fillmore with “Big Brother and the Holding Company” remains a rock classic. She could pound down the “Southern Comfort” and established a “tough girl” image even though those closest to her claimed she was actually quite shy and insecure of herself. Convinced by management that she needed a stronger backing group and should go solo she abandoned “Big Brother” and formed a new band for her next album “I Got Them Ole Kosmic Blues Again Mama”. The album was a departure from the psychedelic attack of “Big Brother”. A bit of a dissapointment to many Joplin fans who felt she should of remained with “Big Brother”. In 1970, with yet another overhaul of her back-up band Janis began work on her next album. The album was nearly complete with just the cut “Buried Alive In The Blues” needing her vocals. Sadly, she would never complete the song. On October 4th of 1970 she was found dead in Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel, the victim of an accidental heroin overdose. She was 27 years old. Her last album “Pearl” was released posthumously and yeilded her biggest hit single “Me and Bobby McGee”. 


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