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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. In 1996 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life. She contributed much of the music towards Gus van Sant's soundtrack of the movie version of Tom Robbin's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and also did a cover of Skylark for the movie version of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. The album, Ingenue, released in 1992, contained her most popular song, "Constant Craving" that brought her multi-million sales and much critical acclaim. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. Her animal rights vegetarian stands including a "Meat Stinks" campaign has created much controversy, particularly in her hometown in the middle of Alberta's cattle ranching industry.

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. lang has championed lesbian causes. She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life. In addition to her musical talents, k.d. 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". The single "Full Moon of Love" that stemmed from that album became a modest hit in the United States in the summer of 1989. 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. lang won a Grammy Award for "Best Country Vocal Performance, Female" for her 1989 album, Absolute Torch and Twang.

That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. k.d. 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). Later that same year she would sing background vocals with Jennifer Warnes and Bonnie Raitt for Orbison's acclaimed television special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night . (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. In 1986 she signed a contract with an American record producer in Nashville, Tennessee and received critical acclaim for her 1987 album, Angel with a Lariat. Her career received a huge boost when rock legend Roy Orbison chose her to record a duet of his standard, "Crying." Instead of being overwhelmed by the power of Orbison's three octave voice, the two blended their tremendous vocal ranges into a riveting collaboration. 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. Singing at country and western venues in her homeland, she made several recordings that received good reviews and earned a 1985 Canadian Juno Award for "Most Promising Female Vocalist".

However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. She was born in Consort, Alberta, Canada. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. lang OC (without capital letters; real name Kathryn Dawn Lang) (born November 2, 1961) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. 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. k.d. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort. ISBN 0-380-97578-5.

She also used other intoxicants. Dreaming Out Loud: Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Wade Hayes and the changing face of Nashville, Bruce Feiler, Avon Books, 1998. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock, Peter Dogget, Penguin Books, 2001. ISBN 0-140-26108-7. 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. Hymns of the 49th Parallel (2004). There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends. Live by Request (2001).

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. Invincible Summer (2000) inspired by her relationship with Leisha Hailey. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Drag (1997). Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. All You Can Eat (1995). Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues [soundtrack] 1993.

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. Ingenue (1992). Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. Absolute Torch and Twang (1989). Shadowland (1988). Angel with a Lariat (1987).

A Truly Western Experience (1984).

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