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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 movie The Rose, with Bette Midler in the lead role, was loosely based on Joplin's life.
. The album Pearl was released six weeks after her death.
. She was cremated in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California, and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
.

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. A diabetic for over ten years, King has been a visible spokesman in the fight against diabetes and has appeared in adverisements for diabetes-management products. She made it there, but it would be one if the last decisions of her life. King has been a licensed pilot, a known gambler and is also a vegetarian, non-drinker and non-smoker. 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". King claims to have had sex before age 10 and purports to have fathered well over fifteen children, all to different mothers. 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. Nearly 80, King has lived a very full and very active life.

That group broke up, and Joplin then formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band. King had also donated his extensive blues collection to the Ole Miss Center for Southern Studies. 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). In 2004, King was awarded an honarary Ph.D from the University of Mississippi. (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 2000, King teamed up with guitarist Eric Clapton to record Riding With the King. 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. In 1988 he reached a new generation of fans via the single "When Love Comes To Town", together with the Irish band U2.

However, the lack of success of their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. The 1980s, 1990s and 2000s saw King recording less and less, but maintaining a highly visible and active career appearing on numerous television shows, major motion pictures and performing 300 nights a year. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an eponymously titled album in 1967. King's mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like "To Know You Is to Love You" and "I Like to Live the Love." From 1951 to 1985, King appeared on Billboard's R&B charts an amazing 74 times. 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. King first found success outside of the blues market with the 1969 remake of the Roy Hawkins tune, "The Thrill Is Gone," which became a hit on both pop and R&B charts, which is rare for an R&B artist even today. She was a heavy drinker throughout her career, and her trademark beverage was Southern Comfort. In November of 1964, King recorded the legendary Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater in Chicago.

She also used other intoxicants. In the 1950s, King became one of the most important names in R&B music, collecting an impressive list of hits under his belt that included songs like "You Know I Love You," "Woke Up This Morning," "Please Love Me," "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer," "Whole Lotta' Love," "You Upset Me Baby," "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Sneakin' Around," "Ten Long Years," "Bad Luck," "Sweet Little Angel," "On My Word of Honor," and "Please Accept My Love." In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records. Around this time her drug use began to increase, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. Many of King's early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who would eventually found the legendary Sun Records. 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 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles based RPM Records. There, she began singing blues and folk music with friends. The name was then shortened to just Blues Boy and, eventually, simply B.B..

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. On the air, King started out using the name The Pepticon Boy, which later became the Beale Street Blues Boy. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Eventually, King began broadcasting his music live on Memphis radio station WDIA, a station that had only recently changed their format to play all-black music which was extremely rare at the time. Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Three years later, King moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he finely tuned his guitar technique with the help of his cousin, country blues guitarist Bukka White. Joplin released four albums as the frontwoman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971. In 1943, King moved to Indianola, Mississippi.

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. King was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Download sample of "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. At an early age, King developed a love for blues artists like T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson and jazz artists like Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Soon King was cultivating his own musical skills singing Gospel music in church. King has said he was paid 35 cents for each 100 pounds of cotton he picked before discovering his other talents. King spent much of his childhood sharing time living with his mother and his grandmother and working as a sharecropper.

King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, "to remind me never to do a thing like that again.". The next day, King discovered that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. Two people died in the fire. He entered the blaze to retrieve his guitar, a Gibson acoustic.

Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. This triggered an evacuation. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a not uncommon practice.

In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. One of King's trademarks is naming his guitars "Lucille", a tradition that began in the 1950s. King (born September 16, 1925), a well known American blues guitarist and songwriter. B.

King aka B. Riley B. Online video, photo gallery, and full biography avaliable at Achievement.org (http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/kin2int-1).

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