Remembering Janis Joplin: Live At Woodstock 1969

By Nate Todd Oct 4, 2019 1:25 pm PDT

Janis Joplin died on this date, October 4, in 1970 at the age of 27. Joplin’s powerful voice, music and style were definitive of the psychedelic ’60s.

Born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1943, Joplin took up permanent residence in San Francisco in the mid-1960s and ran in the heady music scene that was bubbling up there. Joplin would join the psychedelic blues band Big Brother And The Holding Company in 1966 and delivered her breakout performance at The Monterey Pop Festival with the group in 1967.

Joplin would leave Big Brother in 1968 and released her debut solo album, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, in 1969. A month before the album came out, Joplin delivered an iconic performance at Woodstock. To remember Janis, JamBase takes a look at her set from the generation-defining festival for this edition of Full Show Friday.

Joplin and company took the Woodstock stage at around 2 a.m. on Sunday, August 17. Their set got underway with a cover of soul singer Eddie Floyd’s “Raise Your Hand” followed by “As Good As You’ve Been To This World,” the first of three songs from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues. Joplin then ran through a trio of covers that she famously made her own: the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody,” the George Gershwin classic “Summertime” and Chip Taylor’s “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder).”

Joplin returned to material from I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues with the album’s titular song ahead of a cover of Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” Joplin closed out the set with “Work Me, Lord” before reemerging for an encore of two songs she helped to make famous: Erma Franklin’s (Aretha Franklin’s sister) “Piece Of My Heart” and Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball ‘N’ Chain.”

Listen to the entire set below via Rock 70s:


Janis Joplin at Max Yasgur's Farm

  • Raise Your Hand  
  • As Good as You've Been to This World
  • To Love Somebody  
  • Summertime  
  • Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)  
  • Kozmic Blues
  • I Can't Turn You Loose  
  • Work Me, Lord
  • Piece of My Heart  
  • Ball 'n' Chain  
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