- 11:43 am - Fri, Oct 4, 2013
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Janis Joplin was born in 1943 and grew up in Port Arthur, Texas. She began singing in bars and coffeehouses, first locally, then in Austin, where she spent most of a year at the University of Texas. In 1966, she went to San Francisco and got together with a rock band in search of a singer. Big Brother and the Holding Company. The following summer Big Brother performed at the Monterey Pop Festival; Janis got raves from the fans and the critics and from then on she was a star. ‘Cheap Thrills’, Big Brother’s first major album came out in July 1968. By then there were tensions between Janis and the group, and she left soon afterward. With her new backup band she made another album, ‘I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!’ But the band never quite jelled, and in the spring of 1970, Janis formed another, Full-Tilt Boogie. They spent most of the summer touring, then went to Los Angeles to record an album, ‘Pearl’. It was Janis’s last. On October 4th, 1970, she died of an overdose of heroin.
Janis Joplin died 43 years ago today. Look back at our 1976 cover story on the singer.