Monday, January 23, 2012

Sheroes: Janis Joplin

SHERO: Janis Joplin 
LIFE: January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970
FAME: Dubbed the first Queen of Rock and Roll.

GROWING UP: Janis grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton in Port Arthur, Texas. She sang in the church choir and was also a painter. Growing up in Texas was a real struggle for her, as she didn't conform to the mold of a typical young woman of the 1950's.

DID YOU KNOW? In 1950 Janis joined Bluebirds, junior Girl Scouts.

LIFE AS A MUSICIAN: In 1966 Janis Joplin moved to San Francisco where she joined the band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. During the summer of 1967- the summer of love- the group had a breakthrough performance in at the Monterey Pop Festival, where Janis belted a version of Big Mama Thornton's, "Ball and Chain" while the world watched in awe. 

"Playing is just about feeling. It isn't necessarily about misery, it isn't about happiness. It's just about letting yourself feel all those things you already have inside of you but are trying to push aside because they don't make for polite conversation or something. But if you just get up there — that's the only reason I can sing. Because I get up there and just let all those things come out." - Janis Joplin

Like most musicians during that time, Janis was a heavy drinker and experimented a lot with drugs. While recording her last album, "Pearl" in October of 1970, she overdosed on heroin in a motel in Los Angeles at the age of 27. 

DID YOU KNOW? Pearl was her nickname known amongst her friends.

LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Janis paved the way for women in Rock and Roll. In the 1960's, women struggled to fit into the counterculture as many doubted they could play with the boys like Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, and Santana. Janis Joplin's voice was considered a force of nature. 
AWARDS: Janis Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.



Anonymous said...

Loving your illustrations!! This one is probably my favorite! :)

Unknown said...

I like how her beads dangle out of the square in your illustration. I knew she died from an OD, but I didn't know she was only 27!

cjbc said...

I love Janis. All of these portraits you're doing are great!

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