You know you’ve made it in Rock and Roll when you only need one name. Elvis, Jimi and Janice. Janice Joplin was an explosive performer. She could rip on a song like “Piece of my Heart.” And croon on a song like “Summertime.” But to me, her performance on “Little Girl Blue” on the Tom Jones show revealed her vulnerability and sensitivity that made you believe she’s singing about herself.
People today might find it hard to understand. The world only had three television channels and you might get one or two songs period. Tom Jones and Johnny Cash used their influence to get artists like Bob Dylan Neil Young and Janice on the air. Mainstream America wanted Perry Como and Dean Martin and Janice didn’t fit the mold. It’s said that she didn’t like doing television and I guess its because she’s too big for a little box.
Being exposed to her talent in three-minute increments is unsatisfying. “Me and Bobby McGee” was playing on the juke box and a twenty something waitress said, “Oh, I love this song!” I asked, have you heard the rest of her catalog? She shook her head and I said, you’re in for a for a treat.