Joplin is honored posthumously with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in the category of Recording. Music mogul Clive Davis delivers a speech and friend Kris Kristofferson performs an acoustic rendition of Joplin’s number one hit, Me and Bobby McGee. Kristofferson:
It’s really hard to say much about the stars and how much they mean; she means so much more to me than a star on a sidewalk.
About 25 years after her death, the singer becomes an inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is presented by Melissa Etheridge. Other inductees this year are Neil Young, The Allman Brothers, Band, Led Zeppelin, Al Green, Frank Zappa, and Martha and the Vandellas. Etheridge:
I wish she would have survived; then maybe I could tell her thank you. Thank you for traveling that road, for carrying that ball and chain, for giving a piece of her heart. I wish I could congratulate her personally – tell her she will always be a part of rock and roll history; that she helped create it, lived by it, and died by it. I wish I could say to her now, welcome. Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – a place you so definitely deserve to be.
Hill releases her single, Piece Of My Heart, from her album, Take Me As I Am. The song is a remake is of the Janis Joplin classic.
Taking Andrew with her, Joplin leaves Big Brother and The Holding Company to form the Kozmic Blues Band, which includes a full horn section. Andrew recalls the reasons why he and Joplin left the Big Brother.
I’m blaming that on her, because she’s not here and can’t defend herself. [laughs] It was a really stupid decision, but she talked me into it. I wish I had been stronger and said no. She felt like some of the people in Big Brother weren’t working as hard as we were – and that was the truth. She was getting impatient. Plus, she wanted to have a soul band – she was getting into that phase. So I went with her. I was curious to see what would happen. And I liked her, too. I related to her probably better than to anyone else in the band.
The singer and Big Brother and the Holding Company release their blues rock version of Piece of My Heart from the album Cheap Thrills. The song was written by Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy, and was first recorded in 1967 by soul artist Erma Franklin. The song makes it to no. 12 in the U.S. pop chart. While performing the song on stage, she gets a wild reception to her rendition of the song.
But I remember I was singing ‘Piece of My Heart,’ you know that ‘Come on, well, come on’ line — well, you know the guitar solo that leads into that part? I came in early, and I walked all the way to the front of the stage and shouted [in a hoarse whisper], ‘Come on, come on!’ and just f-cking stamping my foot, and saying, ‘I’m not going to sing anymore unless you do something,’ you know, and they’re going, ‘Whoo-ooo-ooo, yes ma’am! Yes ma’am, yes ma’am!’ A riot. Groovy. All they want is a little kick in the ass.
Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company perform Ball & Chain at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. She also meets Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan’s manager, who agrees to work with them for their first album. D.A. Pennebaker films the festival. In the video, “Mama” Cass Elliot is caught in awe of Janis’ performance.
After hearing from Chet Helms that a band in San Francisco, Big Brother & The Holding Company, is looking for a lead singer, Joplin goes for an audition. Sam Andrew, a member of the band, remembers how they were impressed with her voice and starts to do gigs with her. She also learns to adjust her voice with the band and develops the singing style she is known for. Andrews:
At first, she had a coffeehouse kind of voice – real big and wide and open, like an acoustic instrument almost. As she got to play with us, she learned how to be an electric singer. We played so loud that she had to compete, so that’s when she started screaming. But she was always very musical.
Janis Lyn Joplin is born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas to a middle-class family. She is the first child of Seth Ward and Dorothy Joplin. Her father works as an engineer at a refinery, while her mother is a Sunday school teacher. She is a pretty, bright, and artistic little girl. In high school, she has shown signs of rebellion against the racial, sexual, and religious conservatism in her place; longing to leave her hometown.
I was a misfit. I read, I painted, I didn’t hate niggers.