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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. If you do so, please let me know". The movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life. When you listen to them a second time you may sense a basic truth in these cryptic words. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death. This led Sarah to comment: "Listening to the lyrics in the first time, you may find it hard to understand their meaning. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean. While most of the songs are easily accessible and open, some others are strange and incomprehensible.

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. Gert has one big theme: losing the one you love. She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life. Sarah mainly tries to express ideas in her songs and has a hand in writing silly and tongue-in-cheeks songs. 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". Sarah and Gert write most of the music and lyrics. Most of it is written separately. 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. In the seven years between The Great Subconscious Club and Almost Happy the music changed from raw and guitar-based to a more subtle and delicate sound.

That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. Sarah's smokey, enigmatic voice is the bands best known characteristic. 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). It ranges from very delicate and intimate singer-songwriter songs to songs that are stronger, more active and louder. (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. Their music can be described as guitar-based singer-songwriter rock or folk-rock. 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. Except for four full albums, a live album and a best of they also produced four limited edition and fan club CDs: Extra Cocoon, 2000 Seconds Live, Home and Running Backwards.

However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. Gert and Sarah both want to try out some solo work. Gert produces an album (for a Belgian band, Venus in Flames) and Sarah records a solo mini-CD Go and appears on several movie soundtracks now with songs of her own (All of This Past for Underworld and Someone to say Hi to for the Zus and Zo). The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. In 2003 the band decides to take a year off. 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. In 2001 Live (a 2-CD collection of live recordings) is in stores, and in 2003 Ten (a collection of ten years of singles and songs that didn't appear on their albums) is too, it is accompanied by a DVD with the same name. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort. Koen Liekens has returned as drummer.

She also used other intoxicants. In 2000 their last studio-album Almost Happy is finished. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. Meanwhile American Eric Grosman has become the permanent bass player. 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. In 1998 Cocoon Crash, their third album is finished. There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends. For the next year (1996-1997) they tour supporting Alanis Morissette, who heard the band playing on European festivals.

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. At that point Bart van der Zeeuw has replaced Koen Liekens on drums and bass players continually change. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Not an Addict, a single taken from this album was very successful and brings international fame. Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. In 1995 they record Paradise in Me. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971. has no choices, so the name is meant ironically, as a strange, incomprehensible impossibility, like many of their songs.

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. In the book Joseph K. Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. from Kafka's the Trial. K refers to Joseph K. When they came to the US another group with the name The Choice, forced the band to change their name; they decided that K's Choice would capture the spirit of the band.

These five toured Germany and the US, supporting the Indigo Girls, an American Folk-Rock band. In 1994 the band has five more or less permanent members: Sarah and Gert, Jan van Sichem Jr (guitar), Koen Liekens (drums) and Erik Verheyden (Bass). The band was named The Choice and in 1993 they recorded their debut album The Great Subconscious Club. She was offered a contract and formed a band with her brother Gert.

Under a more English name, Sarah Beth, she appeared on several movie soundtracks with covers including I'm so lonesome I could cry (originally by Hank Williams) for the movie Vrouwen Willen Trouwen (Women Want To Marry) and a duet with Frankie Miller Why don't you try me, (originally by Ry Cooder) for the movie Ad Fundum. This lead to the discovery of Sarah, who was offered a chance by a label; mainly because of her smokey, enigmatic voice. In the beginning of the nineties Sarah and Gert played in an amateur band, the Basement Plugs. (guitar) and Koen Liekens (Drums).

They are joined by Eric Grossman (Bass), Jan van Sichem Jr. The band centers around siblings Sarah (lead vocals, guitar) and Gert Bettens (guitar, keyboard, vocals). K's Choice is the name of Belgian rock band from Antwerp, Belgium. Running Backwards (2003).

Home (2001). 2000 Seconds Live (1998). Extra Cocoon (1998). 10 (2003).

Live (2001). Almost Happy (2000). Cocoon Crash (1998). Paradise in Me (1995).

The Great Subconscious Club (1993).

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