Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on January 19, 1943, to Dorothy Bonita East (February 15, 1913 – December 13, 1998), a registrar at a business college, and her husband, Seth Ward Joplin (April 19, 1910 – May 10, 1987), an engineer at Texaco. She had two younger siblings, Michael and Laura. The family attended the Church of Christ. The Joplins felt that Janis always needed more attention than their other children, with her mother stating, "She was unhappy and unsatisfied without [receiving a lot of attention]. The normal rapport wasn't adequate." As a teenager, she befriended a group of outcasts, one of whom had albums by blues artists Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Lead Belly, whom Joplin later credited with influencing her decision to become a singer. She began singing in the local choir and expanded her listening to blues singers such as Odetta, Billie Holiday and Big Mama Thornton.
Primarily a painter while still in school, she first began singing blues and folk music with friends. While at Thomas Jefferson High School, she stated that she was mostly shunned. Joplin was quoted as saying, "I was a misfit. I read, I painted, I didn't hate niggers." As a teen, she became overweight and her skin broke out so badly she was left with deep scars which required dermabrasion. Other kids at high school would routinely taunt her and call her names like "pig", "freak", "nigger lover" or "creep". Among her classmates were G. W. Bailey and Jimmy Johnson. Joplin graduated from high school in 1960 and attended Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont, Texas, during the summer and later the University of Texas at Austin, though she did not complete her studies. The campus newspaper The Daily Texan ran a profile of her in the issue dated July 27, 1962, headlined "She Dares to Be Different". The article began, "She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levis to class because they're more comfortable, and carries her Autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song, it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin."
Cultivating a rebellious manner, Joplin styled herself in part after her female blues heroines and, in part, after the Beat poets. Her first song recorded on tape, at the home of a fellow University of Texas student in December 1962, was "What Good Can Drinkin' Do".
She left Texas for San Francisco ("just to get away from Texas", she said, "because my head was in a much different place") in January 1963, living in North Beach and later Haight-Ashbury. In 1964, Joplin and future Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen recorded a number of blues standards, further accompanied by Margareta Kaukonen on typewriter (as a percussion instrument). This session included seven tracks: "Typewriter Talk", "Trouble in Mind", "Kansas City Blues", "Hesitation Blues", "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" and "Long Black Train Blues", and was later released as the bootleg album The Typewriter Tape. Around this time, her drug use increased, and she acquired a reputation as a "speed freak" and occasional heroin user. She also used other psychoactive drugs and was a heavy drinker throughout her career; her favorite beverage was Southern Comfort.
In early 1965, Joplin's friends in San Francisco, noticing the physical effects of her intravenous methamphetamine habit (she was described as "skeletal" and "emaciated"), persuaded her to return to Port Arthur, Texas. In May 1965, Joplin's friends threw her a bus-fare party so she could return home.
Five years later, Joplin told Rolling Stone magazine writer David Dalton the following about her first stint in San Francisco: "I didn't have many friends and I didn't like the ones I had."
For at least six months after she returned to her parents' home in Port Arthur, she regularly corresponded by mail with Peter de Blanc, with whom she had been romantically involved in San Francisco. De Blanc, a year and ten months her junior, was a well-educated New Yorker. Shortly after he and Joplin both moved away from San Francisco and their beatnik lifestyle, de Blanc was hired by IBM to work with computers at the company's location in East Fishkill, New York, and Joplin's letters reached him at his New York home.
Back in Port Arthur in the spring of 1965, Joplin changed her lifestyle. She avoided drugs and alcohol, adopted a beehive hairdo, and enrolled as an anthropology major at Lamar University in nearby Beaumont, Texas. During her time at Lamar University, she commuted to Austin to perform solo, accompanying herself on guitar. One of her performances was at a benefit by local musicians for Texas bluesman, Mance Lipscomb, who was suffering from major health problems. Another of her performances was reviewed in the Austin American-Statesman.
Joplin became engaged to Peter de Blanc in the fall of 1965. Now living in New York where he worked with IBM computers, he visited her, wearing a blue serge suit, to ask her father for her hand in marriage. Joplin and her mother began planning the wedding. De Blanc, who traveled frequently, terminated plans for the marriage soon afterwards.
Just prior to joining Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joplin recorded seven studio tracks in 1965. Among the songs she recorded was her original composition for her song "Turtle Blues" and an alternate version of "Cod'ine" by Buffy Sainte-Marie. These tracks were later issued as a new album in 1995 entitled This is Janis Joplin 1965 by James Gurley.
Janis Joplin - 1963-xx-xx San Francisco
California Coffee Gallery 1353 Grant Avenue
★ Janis Joplin - vocals
★ Larry Hanks - acoustic guitar, vocals
★ Billy Roberts - acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals, harmonica.
★ OR possibly: Roger Perkins - acoustic guitar & vocals instead of Roberts
01. Leaving' This Morning (K.C. Blues)
02. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
03. Careless Love
04. Bourgeois Blues
05. Black Mountain Blues
06. Gospel Ship
01. What Good Can Drinkin' Do (Joplin) - 2:49
02. I Bring the News performed by Joplin / Catherine Curtain - 2:43
03. Down on Me performed by Big Brother & the Holding Company - 2:04
04. I'm Somebody Important performed by Catherine Curtain - 1:39
05. Women Is Losers performed by Big Brother & the Holding Company - 2:03
06. Our First Record Is Finally Out performed by Catherine Curtain - 1:11
07. Piece of My Heart performed by Big Brother & the Holding Company - 4:14
08. I'm Sorry, Sorry performed by Catherine Curtain - :51
09. A Happening performed by Catherine Curtain - 2:02
10. Summertime (Gershwin/Gershwin/Heyward) - 3:58
11. He's a Beatle, Mother performed by Catherine Curtain - 1:35
12. Ball and Chain performed by Big Brother & the Holding Company - 9:26
13. I May Just Be a Star Someday performed by Catherine Curtain - 2:01
14. A Woman Left Lonely performed by Joplin, Janis & the Full Tilt Boogie... - 3:27
15. Twenty-Five performed by Catherine Curtain - 1:29
16. Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) performed by Joplin, Janis & Her Kozmic Blues Band - 3:55
17. Did I Tell You About My Reviews? performed by Catherine Curtain - 1:07
18. Little Girl Blue performed by Joplin, Janis & Her Kozmic Blues Band - 3:48
19. Twenty-Seven (Hall/Hall/Joplin) - 2:18
20. Me and Bobby McGee performed by Joplin, Janis & the Full Tilt Boogie... - 4:29
21. Mercedes Benz (Joplin/McClure/Neuwirth) - 2:12
22. The Last Letter: Really Rushin' Through performed by Catherine Curtain - 1:44
23. Get It While You Can performed by Joplin, Janis & the Full Tilt Boogie... - 3:23