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Singer Janis Joplin rose to fame in the late 1960s and was known for her powerful, blues-inspired vocals. She died of an accidental drug overdose in 1970.
Janis Joplin - Blues Woman (1:14)
Grace Slick - Mini Biography (2:11)
Watch a short video about famed singer Janis Joplin and the short but fully lived life she led.
Janis Joplin broke the mold of how women in rock and roll were expected to act and took the world of music by storm.
In the 1990's, Neil Young joined the grunge band Pearl Jam. Young was also a prime mover in Farm Aid and participated in the 9-11 fundraiser in New York.
Grace Slick is a former model and a rock singer and songwriter who is best known for being the lead singer in Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.
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There she started performing at folksings — casual musical gatherings where anyone can perform — on campus and at a local club with the Waller Creek Boys, a musical trio she was friends with. With her forceful, gutsy singing style,
In January 1963, Joplin ditched school to check out the emerging music scene in San Francisco with friend Chet Helms. During this first stint in San Francisco, Joplin struggled to make it as a singer. She played some gigs — even a side stage at the 1963 Monterey Folk Festival — but her career never really got off the ground. She went to New York City for a time, hoping to have better luck there, but her drinking and drug use got in the way. Joplin eventually developed a nasty speed habit and left San Francisco to return home in 1965 to get herself together again.
Terrified from her ordeal, Joplin took a break from her music and her hard partying lifestyle. She dressed conservatively, put her long, often messy hair into a bun, and did everything else she could to appear straight-laced. But the conventional life was not for her, and her desire to pursue her musical dreams could not stay submerged for long. Joplin slowly returned to performing and was recruited by friend Travis Rivers to join a San Francisco psychedelic rock band called Big Brother and the Holding Company, which was managed by another longtime friend Chet Helms at the time.
In 1966, Joplin returned to San Francisco to audition for Big Brother, which consisted of James Gurley, Dave Getz, Peter Albin, and Sam Andrew. The group was part of the burgeoning San Francisco music scene of the late 1960s, which also included such bands as the Grateful Dead. They were impressed with Joplin and wanted her to join the group. In her early days with Big Brother, she only sang a few songs and played the tambourine in the background.
It was not long before Joplin assumed a bigger role in Big Brother as the group developed quite a following in the San Francisco area. Their appearance at the now legendary Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 brought them wider acclaim, especially their version of "Ball and Chain" (which was originally made famous by R&B legend Big Mama Thornton). Most of the praise, however, focused on Joplin's incredible vocals. All of this attention caused some tension between Joplin and the rest of the band.
After hearing Joplin at Monterey, president of Columbia Records Clive Davis wanted to sign the band. Albert Grossman—who already managed Bob Dylan, the Band, and Peter, Paul and Mary — later signed on as the band's manager and was able to get them out of another record deal that they had signed earlier with Mainstream Records.
While their recordings for Mainstream never really went anywhere, their first album for Columbia was a huge hit. The wildly successful Cheap Thrills (1968) was a challenge to make and caused even more problems between Joplin and her band mates.
Included In These Groups
American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s, especially for African-Americans and women. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell shared their innermost thoughts and feelings; Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul; and Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and a brilliant guitarist. Through their music, the women of this era created the soundtrack of social progress.
Influential Female Musicians of the 1960s 17 people in this group
The 27 club is a group of artists who died tragically at the young age of 27. They were some of the most talented minds of their generation, and in their short lives each made an enormous impact. Sadly, many led hard-partying lifestyles, abusing drugs and alcohol. These are the musicians and artists who make up the 27 club.
The 27 Club 8 people in this group
presented by The 27 Club
Woodstock, the legendary 1969 music festival, changed the history of rock and roll. For three days on a 600-acre dairy farm in the Castkills of New York, 32 performers put on one of the biggest rock shows of all time in front of 500,000 fans. Here are some of the famous musicians who were part of Woodstock history.
Woodstock Performers 23 people in this group