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Janis Joplin: I need to try a bit harder to understand (and like) her

Such an intoxicating pose
Such an intoxicating pose
Author's collection

She died at 27. The official cause of Janis Joplin's death was an overdose of heroin, probably mixed with all the booze she loved But she was smart: In her will, she left $2,500 to her friends so they could throw a pearl has died party.
Janis has made a comeback.
Of sorts.
Broadway Records is releasing the Original Broadway Cast Recording of the critically-acclaimed, A Night With Janis Joplin, on the occasion of the iconic musician’s birthday celebration (January 19). The album will be available digitally on that date; the CD is currently available at the Lyceum Theatre where rock and rollers pour in to see Janis' return. The album is also available for pre-orders at ( and the official show website
Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin (portrayed by Mary Bridget Davies) exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the Queen of Rock 'n Roll. The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. A Night With Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences–trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of rock 'n roll’s legends
The 19-song album is anchored by Davies’ high-octane performance of Joplin’s iconic hit songs.The New York Times gushes, saying Davies “captures the Joplin sound perfectly and keeps the house rocking, rocketing through at least a dozen of Joplin’s best-known songs, and singing them with a throbbing fervor that is often riveting.” The original Broadway cast recording also features music from Joplin’s greatest musical influences including Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith.
In the spirit of the original musical, the cast recording defies Broadway conventions. Recorded in New York City on October 21, 2013, the album was produced by Russ Titelman, Todd Gershwin, Daniel Chilewich, Michael Cohl and Carl Casella. Titelman has, over the course of his 50 year career, recorded with Dusty Springfield, Captain Beefheart and Brian Wilson and produced albums by The Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and many more.
The cast recording also marks the world premiere of “I’m Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven,” a song legendary writer and producer Jerry Ragovoy wrote for Joplin just prior to her death in 1970. Ragovoy, who had never allowed the song to be released prior to the Broadway musical, was in the audience for its stage premiere with his wife, Beverly, opening night in Portland, Oregon in 2011, just one month before his own death.
Maybe I need to try a bit harder to like Joplin. Frankly, I prefer Scott.

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