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Janis Joplin

Jan. 19, 1943-Oct. 4, 1970

Artistfacts for Janis Joplin

  • Joplin was found dead in room 105 of the Landmark Hotel in Los Angeles after a heroin overdose. The hotel was later renamed The Highland Gardens.
  • She left $1500 in her will for a funeral party. It was held at The Lion's Share in San Anselmo, California, on October 26, 1971. The Grateful Dead performed.
  • She was on the cover of Newsweek May 26, 1969 with the headline, "Rebirth of the Blues." She was slated for the cover in April, but got bumped when former president Dwight Eisenhower died.
  • Her idol was the blues singer Bessie Smith. When Joplin found out Smith was buried in an unmarked grave, she bought a headstone that read, "The greatest Blues singer in the world will never stop singing."
  • The 1979 movie The Rose, starring Bette Midler, was based on Joplin's life.
  • In 1963, she was voted "The Ugliest Man on Campus" at the University of Texas, Austin. This prompted her to leave her home state of Texas and go to San Francisco.
  • She was going to be married in 1966, but backed out to join Big Brother and the Holding Company. Other dating exploits include going to a barbecue with the future United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett and hitting Doors frontman Jim Morrison over the head with a broken bottle when he tried to pick her up.
  • Joplin appeared in many movies, mostly because of her music. These include Janis, Woodstock, Festival Express and Petulia (starring George C. Scott and the Grateful Dead).
  • Love, Janis is a biography of her written by her sister Laura, who is also a psychotherapist.
  • She played with many bands over her career. She started with Big Brother, and then used the Joplinaires, the Kozmic Blues Band, and the Full Tilt Boogie Band as backing groups.
  • She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 - the same year as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers Band, Frank Zappa, Al Green, Martha and the Vandellas, and Neil Young.
  • Her ashes were scattered off the coast of California.
  • Joplin: "Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That's what music is to me." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • In 1967, one of Janis' lovers was Joe McDonald, of Country Joe and the Fish. They were reportedly quite happy together; they would typically lie together in their apartment and crank up the radio whenever either a Country Joe or a Big Brother (Janis' band) song would come on. Janis joked that for a while their bands merged into "Country Brother and the Holding Fish." They broke up very amicably, parting more for their careers than anything else.
  • Probably one of the greatest tragedies that shaped Janis' worldview and hence life was her having been born and raised in the small oil town of Port Arthur, Texas. Many times she would refer to the relentless bullying she'd been a victim of in that most conservative of US states. She spent most of her adult life seeking the approval and acceptance she'd never found in school. In 1969, just after a September concert at the Hollywood Bowl, she played for a packed audience in Austin, Texas, in October. Of the audience described in the papers as "frantically enthusiastic," she remarked afterwards "I used to go to school here and they never treated me like this!"
  • Janice's father Seth Joplin was an engineer at a Texas plant in Port Arthur. Both he and Dorothy East, his wife and Janice's mother, wanted their daughter to become a schoolteacher.
  • Producer John Simon recalls that Janis Joplin would methodically practice various kinds of shrieks and screams which, of course, were made to seem like spontaneous, instinctive explosions of emotion in concert. "She'd go, 'How about this scream?' She'd say, 'Tina Turner does this,' or 'Mama Thornton does it this way.'"
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Comments: 23

Her whole vibe....her singing style, the way she carried herself, her songs, the three different bands she was in, the way she spoke interviews, everything about her was so ALIVE and FREE. The snapshot of Janis here on this particular page is one of my very favorite pictures of her. Why did she have to be taken so soon? To me, she is bar-none, one of the greatest singers ever to grace the stage; and I don't mean as just a female singer, I mean she to me is, one of the greatest singers of all time.Ken - Edison, Nj
I was truly fortunate to have heard Janis and Big Brother early in there careers - when she was at her best. There they were on the stage in Jersey City of all places - the band was stoned and Janis had her trusty bottle of Southern Comfort - what a show! Although she has been missed for over forty years, I am quite happy that her music, style and icon status live on.Doc - Toms River, Nj
I am from the Home town of Janis Joplin, Port Arthur Texas. She lived only 2 miles away. I know a Young Lady that Janis actually Baby Sat for! She was teased in H.S., but was the Honored guest at her 10 Year reunion!!Chris - Houston, Tx
Nobody does it better!! Would trade anything to have seen her perform just once...Jo - Sabetha , Ks
miss regina, amen to that. janis joplin is gone but her music is alive with her spirit. that cheap thrills CD have her life and energy and IT IS GOLD. there can never be any more janis joplin songs, so all we can do is treasure the music we have now. she still lives through her music, and that may be cliche but it's truer than anyone else.

the BEST FEMALE SINGER EVER TO LIVE. she rocked and lived like it. hell yeah.

i laughed when i read she hit jim morrison over the head with a bottle. yeah, figures XD
Clare - Dallas, Tx
A truly great singer and performer.
from a Stones fan
Stephen - The Toon, England
I think I'll leave money in my will to have a funeral party. What a sendoff.Mleissa - Wasaga Beach, Canada
i love her songs man dont know her stuff that well yet but till now its fkin greatElie - London
Janis Joplin is the greatest f*cking female blues singer in the history of blues. There will never be another Janis. She was a shooting star that graced us with her presence, soul and talent. Listening to Janis Joplin is greater than sex, chocolate cake, you name it. When I hear her voice I get shivers down my spine, I am deeply envious of her gift as a musician. I would take 10 years off my life to see her on stage just once, prefferably at woodstock. Today sometimes when I go to shows and the lead singer is female, I just can't enjoy it because I see how inferior she is to Janis. Most female singers to me it seems, put on a facade and make it seem like they're really into the music although its for acting purposes. Then you look at Janis perform and you see that she just can't get enough of herself in the music, she is so full of genuine passion and desire. If only she knew how much I worshipped her. In memory of her life I drink straight southern comfort every weekend, which is delicious by the wayAisha - Regina, Canada
Who's to say that Janis doesn't have a good singing voice? What makes a good singing voice? She put more passion and soul into her singing than almost every "good" singer there was! To me, thats what makes a good singer. She was an amazing artist and a person to look up to.Kayla - London, Canada
Janis joplin is the greatest sinfer of all times.Her performance and her voice were something out of this world no other singer ever could manage to sing like that.janis joplin is the goddess of rock n roll.
I think if janis would died she would still be the greatest singer as she was 40 years ago.thanks janis for your music
Frank - Tegucigalpa, United States
I tried to live by the phrase "Freedom is just another word for nothing to loose". Janis was the TRUE FREE SPIRIT!Kim - Tifton, Ga
There is a new movie coming out about Janis with Renee Zellweger playing Janis. I'm not really sure if thats good or not but JANIS IS AWESOME!Mark - Perth, Australia
Who said smokers can't sing?Katie - Kansas, Ks
Janis Joplin was rockin' hard. Anyone that can smash Jim Morrison over the head with a bottle and still remain cool in the public eye is rad.Justin - Memphis, Tn
i have never heard about janis until today at school were my english teacher was talking about her and played a video about her she made me see a different side of music i really like janis even tho my friends were baggin her which i told them thats disrespectful
janis truly rocked
Mel - Melb, Australia
I heard her song, or was it her song that heard me, and my soul sang along so I´ve been dancing ever since.Madeline - Minneapolis, Mn
Janis is what classic rock is all about. It just dosnt get any better then her.Megan - Gig Harbor, Wa
Arguably the greatest white blues singer of all time. Janis was tortured by her high-school classmates,for looking and acting different. I wonder what those same people are saying today? "GET IT WHILE YOU CAN." God bless Janis.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
Gretest female artist ever! Aretha Franklin comes a close second. I heard that Pink is going to star as Janis in anew film, please God no!Tom - Trowbridge, England
not jest janis, hendrix and jim morrision passed away at the age of 27...also kurt cobain pssed at the age of 27 after a heroin overdose..Ifat - Shoam, Israel
Forever 27
her hendrix and jim morrison all passed away at 27
Travis - Orange, Ca
Janis is the rock Goddess!Erik - Davis, Ca
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