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Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin on the cover of her posthumously-released live album In Concert

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) was an American blues-influenced rock, R&B, and soul singer and occasional songwriter with a distinctive voice. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971.

Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Joplin graduated from Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1960 and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, though she never completed a degree. There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends.

Cultivating a rebellious manner that could be viewed as "liberated", Joplin styled herself after the beat poets, left Texas for San Francisco in 1963, lived in North Beach, and worked occasionally as a folk singer. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. She also used other intoxicants. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort.

After a return to Port Arthur to recuperate, she again moved to San Francisco in 1966, where her bluesy vocal style saw her join Big Brother and The Holding Company, a band that was gaining some renown among the nascent hippie community in Haight-Ashbury. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success.

The band's big break came at the Monterey Pop Festival, which included a version of Big Mama Thornton's Ball and Chain and featured a barnstorming vocal by Joplin. (The D.A. Pennebaker documentary Monterey Pop captured Cass Elliott in the crowd silently mouthing "Wow" during part of Joplin's performance.) Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills featured more raw emotional performances and made Joplin's name.

Splitting from Big Brother, she formed a backup group, named the Kozmic Blues Band, which backed her on I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 1969 (year she played at Woodstock). That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. The result was the posthumously released Pearl (1971), which featured a hit single in the form of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee and the wry social commentary of Mercedes-Benz, written by beat poet Michael McClure.

Her last public appearance was on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970, where she said that she was going to attend her 10-year high school reunion, although she had formerly said when in high school there she was "laughed out of class, out of school, out of town". She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life.

Shortly thereafter, Joplin died of an overdose of unusually pure heroin on October 4, 1970 in a Los Angeles, California motel room, at the age of 27. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life.

She is now remembered best for her powerful, distinctive voice, which was significantly divergent from the soft folk-influenced styles more common at the time, as well as for her lyrical themes of pain and loss.

Samples

  • Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!

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She is now remembered best for her powerful, distinctive voice, which was significantly divergent from the soft folk-influenced styles more common at the time, as well as for her lyrical themes of pain and loss. The 20-track album will be titled "The Pilgrim". The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life. B. King, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. At the presentation it was announced that his new album would be made with a line-up that will include Eric Clapton, B. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. In February 2005 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, by the Recording Academy that also gives the Grammy Awards.

Shortly thereafter, Joplin died of an overdose of unusually pure heroin on October 4, 1970 in a Los Angeles, California motel room, at the age of 27. After several years of inactivity in the studio, Lewis plans to put out a new album in 2005. She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life. He has never stopped touring and can still deliver great unique concerts that are always unpredictable exciting and personal. Her last public appearance was on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970, where she said that she was going to attend her 10-year high school reunion, although she had formerly said when in high school there she was "laughed out of class, out of school, out of town". In 1986 Jerry Lee Lewis was part of the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The result was the posthumously released Pearl (1971), which featured a hit single in the form of Kris Kristofferson's Me and Bobby McGee and the wry social commentary of Mercedes-Benz, written by beat poet Michael McClure. Nicknamed The Killer for his forceful voice and piano production on stage, he was described by fellow artist Roy Orbison as the best raw performer in the history of rock music.

That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Despite the personal problems, his musical talent is unquestioned. Splitting from Big Brother, she formed a backup group, named the Kozmic Blues Band, which backed her on I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! 1969 (year she played at Woodstock). Jerry Lee's sister, Linda Gail Lewis, is also a piano player, and has recorded with Van Morrison. (The D.A. Pennebaker documentary Monterey Pop captured Cass Elliott in the crowd silently mouthing "Wow" during part of Joplin's performance.) Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills featured more raw emotional performances and made Joplin's name. Swaggart is also a piano player, as is another cousin, country music star Mickey Gilley. The band's big break came at the Monterey Pop Festival, which included a version of Big Mama Thornton's Ball and Chain and featured a barnstorming vocal by Joplin. The very public downfall of his cousin, television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, resulted in more adverse publicity to an already deeply troubled family.

However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. The film was based on the book by Lewis' ex-wife Myra and starred Dennis Quaid as Lewis, with Winona Ryder, and Alec Baldwin. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. In 1989, a major motion picture based on his early life in rock & roll titled Great Balls of Fire brought him back into the public eye. After a return to Port Arthur to recuperate, she again moved to San Francisco in 1966, where her bluesy vocal style saw her join Big Brother and The Holding Company, a band that was gaining some renown among the nascent hippie community in Haight-Ashbury. When questioned about why he was at the front gate, Lewis displayed a gun and told the guard he had come to kill Presley. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort. Lewis had been invited to visit by Presley but a security guard was unaware of this.

She also used other intoxicants. A few weeks later on November 23, Lewis was again involved in a gun related arrest at Elvis Presley's Graceland residence. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. Owens miraculously survived. Cultivating a rebellious manner that could be viewed as "liberated", Joplin styled herself after the beat poets, left Texas for San Francisco in 1963, lived in North Beach, and worked occasionally as a folk singer. The gun was loaded and Lewis shot Owens in the chest. There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends. Pointing it at his bass player, Butch Owens, he pulled the trigger.

Joplin graduated from Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1960 and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, though she never completed a degree. While celebrating his 41st birthday in 1976, Lewis began playing with a .357 Magnum, which he later stated he thought was unloaded. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Addicted to drugs too, Jerry Lee Lewis checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic. Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Little more than a year later, his fifth wife was found dead at his home from a methadone overdose. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971. Following this, his fourth wife drowned in a swimming pool under suspicious circumstances.

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) was an American blues-influenced rock, R&B, and soul singer and occasional songwriter with a distinctive voice. Lewis' own erratic behaviour during the latter part of the 1970s led to his being hospitalized and near death from a bleeding ulcer. Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. Earlier in the sixties his first son Steve Allen Lewis drowned in a swimming pool accident. Plagued by alcohol and drug problems after Myra divorced him in 1970, tragedy struck when his 19-year-old son, Jerry Lee Lewis Jr., was killed in a road accident in 1973. Although he toured and played many sold-out concerts, he never again achieved the heights of success that he had prior to the scandal of 1958 despite a major international hit with "Chantilly Lace" in 1973.

He achieved many No.1 and Top 10 country hits. After more than a decade playing rock and roll, in 1968 Lewis began focussing on country and western music with reasonable success. His popularity recovered somewhat in Europe, especially in the UK and Germany, in the mid 1960s, but success eluded him in the USA. His only hit during this period was a cover of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" in 1962.

The scandal followed Lewis home to America and, as a result, he almost vanished from the music scene. The situation caused a public uproar and the tour was cancelled after only three concerts. Lewis’ personal life was always turbulent but kept from the public until a tour of Britain in 1958 when the press learned the 23-year-old star was with his third wife, Myra Gale Brown, who was also his 13-year-old second cousin. His dynamic performing style can be viewed in films, including High School Confidential in which he sang the title song from the back of a flatbed truck and the big-budget film The Girl Can't Help It.

He kicked the piano bench out of the way to play standing, raked his hands up and down the keyboard for dramatic accent, and even sat down on it. Lewis's performances were dynamic. His early billing was as Jerry Lee Lewis and his Pumping Piano. Watching and listening to Jerry Lee Lewis play, Elvis said if he could play the piano like that, he'd quit singing.

"Great Balls Of Fire" soon followed and would become his biggest hit. In 1957, his piano and the pure rock sound of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" propelled him to international fame. Lewis' first recording at Sun studios was his own distinct version of the country ballad "Crazy Arms". Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash also began their recording careers at Sun Studios around this same time.

In 1956, Lewis joined Sam Phillips at his Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Leaving religious music behind, but bringing its sound and his piano playing talents to the new music developing at the time, in 1954 he cut his first record. He began playing the piano at a very early age in his church, and in 1950 he attended Southwestern Bible Institute in Texas but was expelled for misconduct, including playing rock and roll versions of hymns in church. He was, like Elvis Presley, brought up singing the Christian gospel music of integrated southern Pentecostal churches.

His parents, though poor, took out a loan to buy him a piano, and within a year he had developed his mature style of playing. Born in Ferriday, Louisiana, he early showed a natural talent at the piano. Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American rock and roll pioneer piano player and singer. "Breathless".

"Great Balls of Fire". "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On". "Another Place, Another Time". "Crazy Arms".

"High School Confidential". "It'll Be Me". "What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)". "Who's Gonna Play this Old Piano?".

"End of the Road". "Me and Bobby McGee".

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