try (just a little bit harder)

Janis Joplin, who died in 1970 at the age of 27, was a riveting contradiction. She was overpowering and deeply vulnerable, brassy and shy, stylized and direct, indomitable and masochistic. She took the tough rasp of old blues shouters and made it her own by bringing out pain and tension to match the bravado. With magnificent timing Joplin made it seem as if she was pouring out unvarnished emotion.— Jon Pareles

Growing up, Janis Joplin was by her own account the most miserably unhappy and most ridiculed high school student in Port Arthur, Tex. As an adult she enjoyed Southern Comfort, heroin and casual sex. Beyond that her private life never seemed as interesting as her music. – Anita Gates

Wounded by her classmates’ mockery, Janis became a fighter, a foul-mouth, and a hell-raiser. And, according to her Sunday school teacher mother, “a harlot.”

“I was a misfit,” the hometown wild child later admitted, “I read, I painted, and I didn’t hate niggers.” – excerpt from article by David Comfort, Born to the Blues


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