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Janis Joplin: How A Middle-Class Texan Girl Became A Rock Music, Counterculture Icon

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Janis Joplin during a concert in New York City on April 18th, 1969. Credit: Elliot Landy CC BY- SA 4.0: http://bit.ly/35cP73s

Janis Joplin has been called the queen of rock and roll, second only to Bob Dylan as the "creator-recorder-embodiment of her generation's mythology."

Joplin hailed from Port Arthur, Texas, where she struggled to fit in both at home and school.  She left home at 17 then skyrocketed to fame in the 1960s as a singer-songwriter who wove together blues, rock and soul music to create a unique, electric sound. 

Her groundbreaking music took her to incredible heights, including five singles on the Billboard Top 100.

After years of struggling with substance abuse, Joplin died of a heroin overdose on Oct. 4, 1970, at just 27 years old, but her music continues to have a lasting impact.

Guest: Holly George-Warren, author of "JANIS: Her Life and Music"

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi
Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.