Joplin, Janis (1943–1970)

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Joplin, Janis (1943–1970)

American rock and blues singer who found her way into the beatnik and hippie countercultures and became an icon for American youth in the 1960s, leaving an indelible mark on American music as she expressed her own angst through blues. Name variations: (nickname) Pearl. Pronunciation: JOPlynn. Born Janis Lyn Joplin on January 19, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas; overdosed and died at the Landmark Hotel, Los Angeles, California, on October 4, 1970; daughter of Seth Ward Joplin (a mechanical engineer) and Dorothy Bonita (East) Joplin (a clerk, registrar); graduated Thomas Jefferson High School; attended Lamar Technological College and the University of Texas to study painting, and Port Arthur Business College; never married; no children.

Absorbed Beat culture during sojourn in Los Angeles and Venice Beach, California (1960); sang in public for first time at Halfway House in Beaumont, Texas (1961); sang at University of Texas hootenannies and Threadgill's in Austin (1962); hitchhiked to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, sang in coffeehouses, and began using speed (1963); spent summer in New York City (1964); returned to Port Arthur (1965); went to San Francisco to join Big Brother and the Holding Company, and began using heroin (1966); recorded first album with Mainstream Records (1966); broke out at Monterey Pop Festival (1967); signed with Columbia Records (1968); left Big Brother and formed the Kozmic Blues band (1968); toured Europe (1969); appeared at Woodstock (1969); traveled to Carnival in Brazil (1970); formed the Full Tilt Boogie Band (1970); attended high school reunion (August 1970); while recording Pearl, died of an overdose of alcohol and heroin (1970); posthumously honored by Port Arthur with a bronze statue and permanent exhibit (1988).

Selected albums:

Big Brother and the Holding Company (Mainstream, September 1967); Cheap Thrills: Big Brother and the Holding Company (Columbia, September 1968); I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!: Janis Joplin (Columbia, November 1969); Pearl: Janis Joplin/Full Tilt Boogie (Columbia, January 1971); Joplin in Concert (Columbia, July 1972); Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits (Columbia, July 1973); (issued to accompany the film) Janis (Columbia, 1975); Farewell Song (Columbia, January 1982).

Wrote selected lyrics:

"Intruder," "Turtle Blues," "Oh, Sweet Mary," "One Good Man," "Move Over," (with Big Brother and the Holding Company) "Blindman," (with Sam Andrew) "I Need a Man to Love," (with Peter Albin) "Road Block," (with Nick Gravenites) "Ego Rock," (with Gabriel Mekler) "Kozmic Blues," (with Michael McClure) "Mercedes Benz," and (vocal arrangement) "Down on Me."

In the Louisiana border bars that were an easy drive from her hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, Janis Joplin would join her girlfriends in flirting with the Cajun rednecks, trying to get the locals to buy them drinks, until the behavior would grow so outrageous that the Port Arthur visitors would have to flee to escape a fistfight. On one such occasion, Janis and Patti Denton had taken the game a bit too far for Patti's boyfriend, Dave McQueen. Ferrying the drunken group of seven home, McQueen furiously pushed his Oldsmobile past 110 miles per hour, lighting matches to check the speedometer on the dark dashboard, and refusing his passengers' pleas to slow down. Inevitably, the car went into a roll, turning over several times, but all seven walked away from the wreck, miraculously untouched, except for the drinks they spilled on themselves. Joplin's companions would later find her remarks about her high school days on a 1970 "Dick Cavett Show" baffling, if not galling. Just before her return to Port Arthur for her Class of 1960 reunion, Joplin told Cavett, "They laughed me out of class, out of town, and out of the state—so I'm going home." Seen together, the two incidents reflect both her need to live life at full tilt and her need to create her own personal mythology.

In fact, Janis Joplin experienced a very moderate middle-class upbringing. Her parents, Seth and Dorothy Joplin , brought Janis Lyn home from St. Mary's Hospital to 4048 Procter after her birth on January 19, 1943. When Janis was six and her younger sister Laura Joplin was born, the family moved to the Griffing Park area, where her brother Michael was welcomed four years later. The Joplins' backyard served as the neighborhood gathering place, with the standard sandbox and play equipment created by Seth, as well as a puppet playhouse, a homemade Giant Stride, a tightrope, and a circular seesaw. Seth was a mechanical engineer at the Texaco plant, and Dorothy was employed at Sears and Port Arthur Business College, conveying a strong work ethic to Janis and her siblings, who did not lack for attention. Their father talked with them, played classical records for them, and entertained them in imaginative ways, such as taking them to the post office to see "Wanted" posters. Trips to the public library were a highlight of family life, and Joplin remained a voracious reader throughout her life. The family attended the First Christian Church, voted Republican, and subscribed to Time magazine. Dorothy, a former radio announcer who played piano and sang until her singing voice was lost from thyroid surgery, encouraged her children to express themselves.

In contrast to her later persona, Joplin did typical childhood things. In elementary school, she joined the Bluebirds, a Girl Scout-like organization, wrote plays for her puppets, took private drawing and painting lessons, and looked after her brother and sister. She showed enough intelligence to skip third grade. Though she performed with the church choir and the junior high glee club, she did not view herself as a singer. In the seventh grade, she was a member of the local bridge club and the Tri Hi Y club.

With the onset of adolescence and high school, her situation changed. "Then the whole world turned!" she once said. "It just turned on me!" Her failure to be accepted into the locally prestigious Red Hussars drum and bugle corps was one early blow. By the ninth grade, in a decidedly conservative and segregated society, she demonstrated her independence of mind by voicing her support for integration, but she was part of the usual school activities, heading the journalism club, illustrating the high school literary magazine, and attending Arthur Murray dance classes. That summer, she appeared in the Port Arthur Little Theater's production of Sunday Costs Five Pesos and volunteered at the public library where she drew posters for the children's bulletin board.

The next year, the high school hoodlums caught her eye, but she failed to fit into their clique. Meanwhile, she joined the Future Nurses Association, the Future Teachers Association, and the Psi Lambda social club. But she also violated the codes of normalcy of most high school kids of the 1950s. Dropping the standard bobby sox and loafers, she took on a less feminine persona. She dressed in shortened skirts, without make-up and declining to act demure, and became "one of the guys." In her junior year, Janis insinuated herself into a group of five boys who viewed themselves as the high school's intelligentsia, listening to jazz instead of the new rock and roll, and reading books not assigned in class. Joplin provided a degree of outrageousness that became a catalyst for their fun, as they climbed the local water tower, held beach parties, sang and drank beer. Embracing exotic philosophies and demonstrating their rejection of established society through unconventional dress, they looked upon themselves as the Port Arthur beatniks. Within this group, Joplin left her former shyness behind, all her awareness of plumpness and poor skin abandoned in the sessions of drinking and talk. Sometimes, she joined them in climbs up the Rainbow Bridge, which spanned the narrow Nueces River at a height that allowed the passage of ocean-going vessels underneath. Once, without her father's permission, she took his car and gathered up the guys for a trip to the bars of the New Orleans French Quarter. On the dawn ride home in the rain, they had an accident, totaling her father's Willis.

What are they going to say about me? … I think it's going to be that my music was when the black and white thing broke down, and black could dig what white sang, and white could dig what black sang … and it was all music.

—Janis Joplin

The accident, and the situation surrounding it, led to gossip and the beginning of Joplin's reputation in Port Arthur as a "slut," a situation not helped after her mother encouraged her to take mechanical drawing in her senior year; as the only girl in the class, she was assumed to be there to "chase" boys. Since many of her gang had graduated by then, she endured the year on her own, reportedly mocked by students who threw pennies at her to signify that she was "cheap." Although the claims later grew about her sexual activity during this time, friends of Joplin have characterized her as a late bloomer, gullible and not even proficient at cussing before her junior or senior year. But in that senior year and the summer after graduation, when she waited tables at the bowling alley, sold theater tickets part time, and also managed to sell a few of her paintings, several of the men who knew her have reported liaisons.

In the fall of 1960, Joplin enrolled at Lamar Technological College in Beaumont to study art. Instead of the freedom she had expected, Lamar replicated the high school scene of Port Arthur; her reputation also preceded her. Home the following spring, she signed up for classes at Port Arthur Business College, at her mother's urging, but missed most classes due to "illness." Joplin began traveling to Houston to soak up the beat culture, along with a great deal of alcohol, at the Purple Onion Coffeeshop. As her dependence on alcohol grew evident, she went to see both a psychiatrist and a psychologist, visits she later played up as a "nervous breakdown."

In the summer of 1961, financed by her parents, Joplin drove to Los Angeles in a Morris Minor convertible to get a job and stay with relatives, in particular her Aunt Barbara. Hired as a keypunch operator for the Los Angeles Telephone Company, she left her aunt's to explore her bisexuality and experience the beatnik scene at Venice Beach, which was by that time in decline. Taking a second job at the Bank of America, Joplin passed her summer in a daze of drug experiments, then returned to Port Arthur.

On New Year's Eve, with little notice, Joplin made her debut as a singer at the Halfway House in Beaumont. A friend allowed her to take the stage for one song, then scooted her off quickly when the performance was poorly received. In 1962, she recorded an advertising jingle for a local bank that went unused and sang in Houston at the Purple Onion, while continuing to wait tables at the bowling alley. Perpetuating her habit of frequenting the Louisiana bars with her cronies, she expanded her drinking tastes from beer to bourbon and Thunderbird wine, while her flirting games grew more dangerous.

That summer, visiting a friend in Austin, Joplin discovered the underground cultural life thriving at the University of Texas. Enrolled shortly afterward as a freshman art major, she drew enough attention with her attitudes and all-black style of dress (taken by some as a sign of her sexual liberation) to be written up by the student newspaper. She became sexually involved with Juli Paul , musician Powell St. John, and later underground newspaper editor Bill Killeen, and engaged in recreational one-night stands, while becoming more involved with her singing. Joplin learned to play the autoharp to accompany herself, and later took up the guitar to avoid splitting proceeds with back-up musicians. As she began to experiment with marijuana, peyote, and secobarbital, she now sang weekly with the Waller Creek Boys (Powell St. John on harmonica and Lanny Wiggins on guitar) at campus "hootenannies" and at Threadgill's, a bar that highlighted live folk music, where owner Kenneth Threadgill allowed Joplin to sing one blues song per set.

In 1963, Joplin hitchhiked to San Francisco with Chet Helms, a Beat poet. She later claimed that she had never wanted to be a singer, but only to be a beatnik and have constant fun. Whatever her career goals, she began singing in coffeehouses—Coffee, Confusion, the Coffee Gallery—where she became friends with bartender Howard Hesseman, later a well-known actor, and clothing designer Linda Gravenites who became her roommate. Joplin sang at the Monterey Folk Festival and on the KPFA Midnight Special radio show until temporarily halted by a motorcycle accident and a street brawl. In San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury section, soon to become the center of hippie life, Joplin sang for beers and passed the hat, while working part-time jobs and collecting unemployment. Like a number of citizens of the emerging counterculture, she shoplifted for necessary and desirable items, an activity that got her arrested on February 2, 1963. By this time, alcohol and methamphetamine, or "speed," were setting the rhythm of her days.

In the summer of 1964, Joplin found herself in New York City's Greenwich Village without really knowing how she got there. Living on the street and in Washington Square Park, she sang at Slugs and dabbled with everything from marijuana to cocaine, heroin, and speed, and began to deal speed and hashish. Record companies, meanwhile, began to send scouts to see her perform, but drugs ranked higher in her life than her career. In the fall, she returned to San Francisco, where she took a new lover.

The following spring, Joplin committed herself to a hospital in an attempt to get off drugs, but failed to do so. Frightened by her addictions, she returned to Port Arthur, where she sought to conform to the town's expectations, telling her parents that she had come home to prepare to get married. She dressed conservatively, wore makeup, pulled her hair into a neat bun, took up typing and canasta and insisted on being treated like a lady. That summer, she reentered Lamar as a sociology major and saw a therapist. When friends encouraged her to sing at a benefit for a blues singer, she appeared in a business suit.

She was vocalizing again in clubs around southeast and central Texas when she heard of a tryout in California for Big Brother and the Holding Company, a band comprised of bass player Peter Albin, lead guitarist James Gurley, drummer Dave Getz, and guitarist Sam Andrew. The band's manager, her old friend Chet Helms, accompanied Janis to Port Arthur, promising the Joplins that their daughter would return to college in the fall semester if the tryout failed. The duo then hitched rides to San Francisco, becoming lovers along the way; Helms later proposed, but without success. On the journey, Joplin reportedly carried two books, The Ten Commandments and Billie Holiday 's Lady Sings the Blues. Later in her life, she identified closely with the tragic lives of singers like Holiday, Bessie Smith , and Odetta , and with Zelda Fitzgerald .

Although she had not previously performed their kind of "freak rock," Joplin became the singer for the Big Brother band. Six days after her acceptance, their first performance as a group was at the Avalon Ballroom where they were hired eventually as the house band. Melding into the group, Joplin began an affair with James Gurley, who temporarily left his wife Nancy to live with Janis; according to one

source, the affair nearly destroyed the band. In July, however, after the band moved out of the city into a house in Lagunitas, in the San Geronimo Valley, Nancy Gurley and Joplin became great friends, and Nancy guided Janis' choices in hippie fashion. The two women also began to share speed. At a time when lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, was legally available and the hippie culture's drug of choice, Joplin's preferences remained speed and alcohol; she also experimented with DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

Joplin refused offers from other bands and even turned down a proposal from Elektra Records to go out on her own. In August, the band took a job in Chicago playing at Mother Blues, but did not draw a crowd large enough to cover their pay. Against the advice of their manager, they signed a contract for an album with Mainstream Records, believing they would get enough money to return to San Francisco. The group received so little in pay that they still had to scrounge money to get home, and the album was not released until a year later, when Big Brother had made a name for itself.

In February 1967, Joplin began a live-in romance with Country Joe MacDonald of Country Joe and the Fish, which did not prevent her from taking on several other lovers that year: roadie Mark Brounstein, musicians Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, actors Tom Baker and Howard Hesseman, and disc jockey Milan Melvin. With a gaggle of female friends, dubbed "The Capricorn Ladies," Joplin also liked to ramble down Haight Street, feeling at home, drinking Ripple or Rainer Ale, or taking in an improvisational review by The Committee. LSD joined her stash of pharmaceuticals. In April, she wrote her family that she would soon be the first pin-up for Haight-Ashbury; personality posters were a new fad, and Bob Seligmann had taken a photograph of her posing topless with a cape and strings of beads.

In June 1967, Big Brother and the Holding Company broke out of the pack of California bands at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Originally scheduled for only one performance, the band did two, in order to be included in the film Monterey Pop. For the first appearance, Joplin was in her usual funky hip garb, but for the filmed performance she switched to a gold lamé dress that heralded the birth of her honky-tonk, "used-girl" image. In front of an estimated crowd of 72,000, Big Brother and Joplin managed to upstage more established acts like the Mamas and the Papas, Jefferson Airplane, and The Association, rising to the ranks of performers like Jimi Hendrix and the Who. Between the two gigs, the band signed with Albert Grossman, a professional manager from New York, who stipulated that his bands not use heroin. That fall, the band traveled to Seattle, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Boston, and Huntington Beach for shows; Joplin returned to Port Arthur for Christmas, and then traveled to Mexico for an abortion.

In February 1968, Big Brother journeyed to New York for a concert, settled into the Chelsea Hotel and established Max's Kansas City as their hangout. A contract with Columbia Records allowed them to buy their way out of the non-lucrative and damaging contract with Mainstream, and Grossman began shifting their billing from "Big Brother and the Holding Company" to "Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin," then to "Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company."

In February, the band played in Boston, Cambridge, Providence, and Chicago before starting to record their next album, Cheap Thrills. During the recording session, Joplin revealed herself to be a hard-working perfectionist, but her drug taking kept her dangerously on the edge. Once during this period, roommate Linda Gravenites had to revive her from an overdose of heroin. Upon release, Cheap Thrills reached "gold" by being Number One on the Billboard Charts for eight weeks. Joplin was named Best Female Pop Singer by both the Readers' Poll and the International Critics' Poll of Jazz and Pop magazine.

In September 1968, Grossman announced that Joplin and Big Brother had split amicably. To David Dalton, once a reporter for Rolling Stone, Joplin would later state that she decided "to sell out" because she wanted "to be rich." She continued to sing with the group through December, a bottle of Southern Comfort by this time accompanying her everywhere. In letters home and to those around her, Joplin began to brag about her growing wealth; she bought a Porsche and struggled with trying to differentiate between her dayself and her stage persona.

Grossman, meanwhile, put together the Kozmic Blues, a band of professional musicians, not friends. The group rehearsed in San Francisco but bombed while debuting at the Memphis Stax-Volt "Yuletide Thing." In early 1969, still lacking cohesion, they opened to four sold-out shows in New York City, where Joplin was still a hot ticket, but the reviews ranged from bad to worse. In March, Joplin appeared on CBS Television's "60 Minutes" and "The Ed Sullivan Show," where Sullivan is reported to have refused to shake her hand. The Kozmic Blues played in San Francisco, again to poor reviews, then traveled through Europe in April and May where they were received with raves. Joplin was named "a hot white soul sister" and "the wildest happening since Elvis" by the British press, but when the time came to return home, Gravenites chose to remain in England, ostensibly to embroider jackets for George Harrison, rather than witness Joplin's further disintegration from alcohol and heroin.

The group traveled to Hollywood to record an album. But as Joplin and her performance deteriorated from the drugs, she began to spend most of her time with the roadies. During the summer of 1969, she appeared on a number of television shows, and at a concert in Atlanta in July she exposed herself to fans. At the Woodstock Festival in August, she gave a markedly bad performance. After a concert in Tampa, Florida, on November 16, she was arrested as she left the stage, charged with two counts of using vulgar and obscene language, a crime for which she later paid a fine of $200 in absentia. On tour, she meanwhile developed a pre-show ritual, spending hours in the dressing room before going onstage, stringing beads and placing each of her many bracelets, one by one, on her arms. Her books were still with her, wherever she traveled, including a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald.

By December, Joplin appeared ready to face her need to kick her addictions when she consulted Dr. Edmund Rothschild, who prescribed methadone and Valium. Returning to California, she purchased a house on Baltimore Avenue in Larkspur, began to adopt dogs, purebred and from the pound, and promised to clean up her act if Gravenites would room with her. In January 1970, Joplin renewed her methadone prescription to help her get off heroin.

Facing the disbanding of the Kozmic Blues Band, she perhaps felt a need to regain control. As a way to get away from the drugs, she and Linda headed for Carnival in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where Joplin met a young man, David George Niehaus, who was unaware of her celebrity. Reveling in her anonymity, Joplin took a trip into the jungle with Niehaus and made some progress in distancing herself from drugs, then cut the vacation in half and traveled back to Los Angeles where she bought $10,000 worth of heroin before reaching Larkspur. Following her home, Niehaus discovered her in bed, strung out and with a female lover. Gravenites, unwilling to be witness to another overdose, moved out.

Joplin tried to escape the drugs at a Mexican spa but increased her alcohol consumption. Breaking another gender barrier of the time, she had a bracelet tattooed around her wrist, a bud on her ankle, and a heart over her own. In April 1970, the management company helped her put together a group to match her voice and leadership style, called the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She enjoyed a few reunion gigs with Big Brother, but the performances suffered from her condition. A love affair with singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson devolved into an alcohol codependency. Her concerts at this point were often performed in an alcoholic blackout, while the ravages of drug use showed in blotchy and bloated skin, bleeding gums, headaches, and a bad stomach. That June, she made her notorious appearance on "The Dick Cavett Show" that included her remarks about Port Arthur and her classmates.

Joplin made her first official appearance with Full Tilt Boogie in Louisville, where the reviews were good. From June 28 through July 4, the band toured Canada on the "Festival Express," a rolling party with free-flowing alcohol, assorted drugs, freewheeling sex, and constant jamming aboard a train carrying their group along with the Grateful Dead. By the end of the tour, the song by Kristofferson that was to be her greatest hit, "Me and Bobby McGee," had become the group's anthem.

In August, Joplin struck up a relationship with Seth Morgan, a drug dealer who made a cocaine delivery to the Larkspur house. Back on "Cavett" the week before her high school reunion, she appeared seriously inebriated. On August 12, Joplin and Full Tilt Boogie performed for the last time, at Harvard Stadium, before traveling the next day with a few friends to Port Arthur for the tenth reunion of the Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1960. At her parents' home, Joplin slept on a cot in the den while her parents were appalled at the men they found sleeping both in and outside their house. The afternoon before the reunion, the organizers allowed Joplin to hold a press conference. When classmates appeared bemused by Joplin, her companions encouraged her to mingle to stop their stares. She left the reunion early and took her friends partying at Houston's clubs. When she returned to California, Joplin and Morgan announced their engagement, and Joplin commissioned a premarital agreement.

In September, she went to Los Angeles where she moved into the Landmark Hotel, a known drug "shooting gallery," to begin recording a new album with Full Tilt Boogie. Under producer Paul Rothschild, the band worked diligently on the album, commissioning a few new songs at the last minute, including "Buried Alive in the Blues" by Joplin's friend Nick Gravenites. That month, when Jimi Hendrix died, Joplin mused, "Wonder if I'll get as much publicity?" On October 1, she revised her will, excluding her friend Linda, previously a beneficiary, and leaving the bulk of her estate to her family. On October 3, already high on heroin and gulping Ripple wine, Joplin taped "Me and Bobby McGee" and reviewed the instrumental track for the recording of her vocals at the next day's session. Before leaving the studio, the band recorded "Happy Birthday" for John Lennon, which Joplin tagged with "Happy Trails to You," then she retired to Barney's Beanery with some of the musicians for drinks. But in the course of the evening, neither of her planned dates showed up, nor did Linda, who had come to Los Angeles unexpectedly to see her. Around 1 am, Joplin shot up with heroin before going down to the lobby to buy cigarettes. She chatted with the desk clerk about how well the album seemed to be going, and her plans for another, then returned alone to Room 105.

At the studio the next day, when she did not turn up to record, the producer became worried. Road manager Jim Cooke, noticing her car still at the hotel, entered her room and found Joplin face down on the floor between a chair and the bed. She had died 18 hours earlier of an accidental overdose of heroin combined with alcohol; the coroner found no evidence of suicide. That weekend, a particularly pure, and therefore more lethal, batch of heroin had hit the street. There were eight other deaths by overdose in the area.

Joplin's will provided $2,500 for a wake in her honor at the Lion's Share nightclub in San Anselmo (friends received invitations inscribed, "Drinks are on Pearl"), and her ashes were scattered from a plane over the Marin County coast. Using previously recorded vocal tracks, the band finished the album Pearl, released in February 1971, which rose to the top of the Billboard Charts, while "Me and Bobby McGee" became the #1 hit single, and Rolling Stone declared Joplin the "premier white blues singer of the 1960s."

In 1988, Janis Joplin was honored with her picture on the cover of Time, the magazine favored by her parents. That same year, even Port Arthur began to come around. A former classmate headed an effort to establish the Janis Joplin Permanent Exhibit, and a bronze statue, capturing Joplin in a multitude of poses, was dedicated. Since then, the city, whether out of forgiveness of its prodigal daughter or with an eye toward bolstering its economy through tourism, has hosted an annual Janis Joplin Birthday Bash.


Amburn, Ellis. Pearl: The Obsessions and Passions of Janis Joplin. NY: Warner Books, 1992.

Dalton, David. Piece of My Heart: The Life, Times and Legend of Janis Joplin. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1986.

Friedman, Myra. Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin. NY: William Morrow, 1973.

Joplin, Laura. Love XX Janis. NY: Villard Books, 1992.

suggested reading:

Carey, Gary. Lenny, Janis and Jimi. NY: Pocket Books, 1975.

Caserta, Peggy as told to Dan Knapp. Going Down with Janis. NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973.

Echols, Alice. Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin. NY: Holt/Metropolitan, 1999.

Landau, Deborah. Janis Joplin: Her Life and Times. NY: Paperback Library, 1971.

related media:

Janis: The Way She Was (1 hr., 36 min., interviews and concert footage), MCA Home Video, 1975.

Janis (musical), written by Susan Ross , 1991.

Monterey Pop (film of the 1967 concert), Sony Video, 1969.

The Rose (film), starring Bette Midler in a role reminiscent of Joplin's life, CBS/Fox, 1979.


Janis Joplin Exhibit, Texas Musical Heritage Museum, Gates Memorial Library, Port Arthur, Texas; Janis Joplin files, Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, New York, New York; and Janis Joplin files, Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles, California.

Laura Anne Wimberley , Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

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Joplin, Janis (1943–1970)

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