Janis and Her Musical Influences
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN is a musical celebration of the artists that influenced Joplin, especially black female blues, R&B and folk singers. Below are a few of the legendary artists that inspired Joplin and are featured in the show:
ARETHA FRANKLIN (Born: 1942) is one of the best-selling female artists of all time, earning the title "The Queen of Soul." She’s universally acknowledged as one of the greatest voices of popular music, has been honored with 18 Grammy Awards® and was the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
ETTA JAMES (1938 – 2012). Blues, soul, jazz, R&B and rock vocalist Etta James forged a five decade career with an alternately powerful and poignant voice gracing over a dozen hit singles and earning her four Grammys® and a prominent place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
ODETTA (1930 – 2008) was a prominent figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s and was known as “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement.” She was trained in opera and musical theatre, but embarked on a career as a folksinger in 1950. Her performance of “O Freedom” at the historic 1963 March on Washington was a seminal moment in the civil rights movement.
BESSIE SMITH (1894 – 1937) earned the title of “Empress of the Blues” by virtue of her forceful vocal delivery and command of the genre. Her singing displayed a soulfully phrased, boldly delivered and nearly definitive grasp of the blues. In addition, she was a multifaceted entertainer who danced, acted and performed comedy routines with her touring company. She was the highest-paid black performer of her day and arguably reached a level of success greater than that of any African-American entertainer before her.
NINA SIMONE (1933 – 2003) was one of the most gifted vocalists of her generation, and also one of the most eclectic. An American songwriter, pianist and arranger, Simone sang a mix of jazz, blues and folk music in the 1950s and ‘60s. A civil rights activist, she wrote songs promoting the movement.