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19 January 1943, Port Arthur, Texas, USA, d. 4 October 1970, Hollywood, California, USA. Having made her performing debut in December 1961, this expressive singer subsequently enjoyed a tenure at Houstons Purple Onion club. Drawing inspiration from Bessie Smith and Odetta, Joplin developed a brash, uncompromising vocal style quite unlike accustomed folk Madonnas Joan Baez and Judy Collins. The following year she joined the Waller Creek Boys, an Austin-based act that also featured Powell St. John, later of Mother Earth. In 1963 Janis moved to San Francisco where she became a regular attraction at the North Beach Coffee Gallery. This initial spell was blighted by her addiction to amphetamines and in 1965 Joplin returned to Texas in an effort to dry out. She resumed her university studies, but on recovery turned again to singing. The following year Janis was invited back to the Bay Area to front Big Brother And The Holding Company. This exceptional...