Happy Birthday Janis Joplin: Performing Live Spotify Playlist


Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas on this day in 1943. Indisputably among the most recognizable and emulated voices in recent history, Joplin was the quintessential blues-rock singer that set an unmatched precedent of raw talent and passionate musicality. Her career was cut all-too short when Joplin died a heroin overdose in 1970 at the young age of 27.

Admired by her contemporaries and beloved by fans around the world who have discovered her singular sound in the years since her death, Janis Joplin was undoubtedly an essential figure of the 1960s psychedelic rock scene, yet, her voice remains timeless. Inspiring and tragic, Joplin’s brief experience on earth was and continues to be profoundly impactful on those of us lucky enough to have heard her sing.

Joplin’s career was marked by three stages in which she performed with Big Brother & The Holding Company, followed by the Kozmic Blues Band and lastly, the Full Tilt Boogie Band. While her version of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me And Bobby McGee” became her most well-known and successful recording, she also placed her signature stamp on such classic songs as “Piece Of My Heart,” “Summertime,” “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder),” “Ball and Chain,” “Bye, Bye Baby” and “Down On Me.”

Those songs and each of those three bands are featured in the chronological, career-spanning live playlist below. It begins with a pair of Big Brother & The Holding Company concerts from 1966 and 1967, followed by “Ball And Chain” from Joplin’s landmark performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Additional 1968 Big Brother performances precede the at-times shaky appearance with the Kozmic Blues Band at the 1969 Woodstock festival. The playlist ends with Full Tilt Boogie Band selections from the 1970 Festival Express tour of Canada with The Band, Grateful Dead and others. Listen to the Janis Joplin live Spotify Playlist here: