Recently I heard a song and a young person seemed to be going gaga over it. I was unsure who the artist was and thought, well another pop artist with a hit. Of course I found out quite quickly that it was Lady Gaga and it got me thinking…
What’s all the goo-goo about Gaga? It’s all production! Who would she be without all the makeup and outfits? Who would a lot of these new female singers be without all the production? I suppose my age is showing. Though I am only 52, today’s “female” artist make me feel so much older. Maybe it’s because I do not go goo goo for the Gaga or maybe it was because I grew up with real talent and soul.
That must be it. I am not acting like an old lady; I am just able to recall when a real woman belted out real music. I am talking about Janis Joplin. Come on folks. This woman did not need to show her breast or bellybutton to get attention. She worked from her soul.
She did not need big productions, outfits and glitter to show off her voice. Though I did love her rose colored glasses! In fact, she defied society’s expectations of women’s dress and behavior. She did not care she was fully aware she had talent. She did not have to do what others commanded a woman to do!
Joplin once said, “you know why we’re stuck with the myth that only black people have soul? Because white people don’t let themselves feel things.” However, Joplin felt it all. With a voice like that, she had to have been an empath because her voice made those who didn’t want to feel, feel.
Joplin, the most influential musical artists of the 20th century was born January 19th, 1943, in, Port Arthur, Texas. She was in the midst of recording the album Pearl when she died in Los Angeles on October 4th, 1970 of an accidental overdose. She had just a little over three years since she hit it big. But in those three years Joplin changed the world. Even today, people do her music and always talk about her. People want to sound like this blues rocker. How can you not talk about Joplin? Her voice was like thunder.
I remember the first time I heard Joplin I was not sure what I was listening to. Was it a new kind of rock and roll? Was it a man, a woman? I never heard a voice like that before. All I knew is I wanted more and that is what she gave us. Hits like Piece of My Heart, Summertime, Try Just a Little Bit Harder, Cry Baby, Me and Bobby McGee, Ball and Chain, Mercedes Benz and one of my favorites was Maybe.
I don’t know, once you grow up with the likes of Joplin, Gaga is like comparing steak with spam. Please don’t get me wrong, yes Gaga can hold a tune, she can sing and she clearly knows how to dress the part and people like her. That’s great. But for me, music should not be about dressing the part, music should be about rocking the soul not about showing off body parts and wearing a ton of makeup to get your point across.
No, I think I will stick to Janis Joplin. All she had to do was open her mouth and believe me, the world listened.