Thursday, November 14, 2019

New Book About Janis Joplin Is Eye Opening

I was only 7 years old when Janis Joplin died in October of 1970 in a Hollywood motel. I lived in a house where Jazz was played and Frank Sinatra and Big Band music with some Partridge Family thrown in. I don't remember hearing about Janis Joplin. Her very loud singing may have turned off my parents and I just never heard about her till I was older. In this new book Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren it goes all the way back to her childhood in Port Arthur Texas. This from the website:

She was a tomboy who was intellectually curious and artistic. By the time she reached high school, she had drawn the scorn of her peers for her embrace of the Beat poets and her racially progressive views. Her parents doted on her in many ways but were ultimately put off by her repeated acts of defiance.

When I was listening to the audiobook I would stop it and listen to some of her music. Then in the book it mentioned that she was a Bessie Smith fan. So I would go a listen to some of that and also Lead Belly was mentioned. I would also go on Google and look at some photos of her. 

The book is read by actress Nina Arianda (Billions and Goliath fame). I'm a big fan and it was the reason I picked this book. She did an amazing job reading this. She would actually do a subtle impression of Janis when she read parts where Janis was talking. It sounded just like her with her Texas accent.

I learned a lot and appreciate the talent of Janis Joplin, it's a great book.