Down On Me
At the age of seventeen, Janice Joplin ran away from her home in Port Arthur, Texas to become a singer. First performing with bar bands in Texas and California, Joplin eventually moved to San Francisco in 1966 to join the blues band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The recently formed band included musicians Peter Albin, Sam Andrews, James Gurley, and David Getz. Together, the group created an intense performance style, thanks in part to Joplin's unrestrained, sometimes roaring, sometimes whispering vocals. (Down On Me, Audio 3:32)
The group gained immediate commercial success after their appearance
at the Monteray Pop Festival in June, 1967. This stunning performance
earned the band contracts with the Columbia Records and well known
manager Albert Grossman (also manager to Bob Dylan at the time).
Their first album with Columbia, "Cheap Thrills," reached number one
on the record charts in 1968. Joplin left Big Brother and the Holding
Company shortly thereafter to form another group called the Kozmic
Blues Band. She formed a third group in 1970 called the Full Tilt
Boogie Band. Their album "Pearl," along with the hit single from the
album, "Me and Bobby McGee" were posthumous hits, reaching number one
on the record charts following Joplin's death from an accidental
drug overdose in October of 1970.