It was 50 years ago Sunday (October 4th, 1970) that Janis Joplin was found dead. After a long night of partying, Joplin's body was discovered in her room at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood with fresh needle marks in her arm, and her death was ruled an accidental overdose. Joplin was 27-years-old, and at the time of her death was working on what became her final album, Pearl. The recent Joplin documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, premiered in 2015 at the Venice Film Festival, before hitting PBS via its American Masters series. The doc is now available for digital download.
2018 saw the 50th anniversary of Big Brother & The Holding Company's major label debut and the double-disc release of Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills — featuring the material that introduced the world to Janis Joplin. The set was issued under its original title, which was nixed by Columbia Records for being too controversial. Sex, Dope & Cheap Thrills “restores the band's vision and intent in an essential new collection of 30 rare performances including 29 studio outtakes — 25 previously unreleased — from the mythic 1968 sessions that generated Big Brother & The Holding Company's Cheap Thrills.” Highlights on the set include such Joplin & Big Brother classics as “Piece Of My Heart,” “Ball And Chain,” and “Summertime,” among others.
Sadly, on February 12th, 2015, Joplin's closest musical collaborator, guitarist Sam Andrew — who performed alongside her in both Big Brother & The Holding Company along with her solo band Kozmic Blues Band — and was the primary musician that promoted and championed her work over the decades, died at 73 following complications from a heart attack.