Janis Joplin from 1 to 27 years old
Janis Lyn Joplin was born on January 19, 1943, in Port Arthur, Texas. Breaking new ground for women in rock music, Joplin rose to fame in the late 1960s and became known for her powerful, blues-inspired vocals. She grew up in a small Texas town known for its connections to the oil industry with a skyline and dotted with oil tanks and refineries. For years, Joplin struggled to escape from this confining community, and spent even longer to trying to overcome her memories of her difficult years there.
Developing a love for music at an early age, Joplin sang in her church choir as a child and showed some promise as a performer. She was an only child until the age of 6, when her sister, Laura, was born. Four years later, her brother, Michael, arrived. Joplin was a good student and fairly popular until around the age of 14, when some side effects of puberty started to kick in. She got acne and gained some weight.
At Thomas Jefferson High School, Joplin began to rebel. She eschewed the popular girls’ fashions of the late 1950s, often choosing to wear men’s shirts and tights, or short skirts. Joplin, who liked to stand out from the crowd, became the target of some teasing as well as a popular subject in the school’s rumor mill. She was called a “pig” by some, while others said that she was sexually promiscuous.
Joplin eventually developed a group of guy friends who shared her interest in music and the Beat Generation, which rejected the standard norms and emphasized creative expression (Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were two of the Beat movement’s leading figures).
Funin and Sunin Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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