Beloved vocalist Janis Joplin was born on this date 75 years ago. The singular-voiced artistic force was a prominent fixture of the late-1960s Bay Area psychedelic music scene. She was just 27 when she died of an accidental drug overdose on October 4, 1970. The colorful and charismatic frontwoman’s tragically cut short career was a remarkable burst of musical prowess that continues to be revered by countless admirers who have been moved by the sincere expressiveness of Joplin’s voice.
This week’s edition of Full Show Friday celebrates what would have been Janis’ 75th birthday with a recording of a concert that took place nearly 50 years ago. Officially issued as the first of Bear’s Sonic Journals, the show from June 23, 1968 was taped by renowned Grateful Dead sound engineer and LSD manufacturer Owsley “Bear” Stanley (who was also born on January 19). The mastering for the archival release was prepared by Bear just prior to his death in a car accident in March 2011.
The ‘68 concert featured Big Brother & the Holding Company at San Francisco’s Carousel Ballroom. With Janis out in front, guitarists Sam Andrew and James Gurley, bassist Peter Albin and drummer David Getz opened the set with “Combination Of The Two.”
The rest of the performance is rounded out with classics such as “Summertime,” “Call On Me,” “Piece Of My Heart,” “Ball & Chain” and “Down On Me,” along with others. There’s a bonus Bear-recorded “Call On Me” from the night prior added as filler.
Listen to Janis Joplin live in concert in 1968 below:
Big Brother & the Holding Company at Carousel Ballroom
- Combination of the Two
- I Need a Man to Love
- Flower in the Sun
- Light Is Faster Than Sound
- Catch Me Daddy
- It's a Deal
- Call on Me
- I'm Mad (Mad Man Blues)
- Piece of My Heart
- Coo Coo
- Ball 'n' Chain
- Down on Me