Friday, June 8, 2012

Janis Joplin and Daytime TV

This is a really great clip from You Tube of Janis Joplin on the Dick Cavett Show from July, 18, 1969. She is singing her own arrangement of the Bee Gees “To Love Somebody.” It was probably several years before I realized that she was singing a Bee Gees song. She really made this song her own, much as Joe Cocker did with “With A Little Help From My Friends.” It’s not an easy thing to do; taking an established hit song and turning it into something more. As a matter of fact, it’s an art. Hendrix did well with other people’s songs, most notably Bob Dylan’s stuff, like “All Along the Watchtower”, and “Like a Rolling Stone.” The better the song is, the harder it is to “re-invent” it. Innovation is something that I have always held in high regard.

Daytime TV used to be a varied place. When I was home from school, for whatever reason, there were always old movies to watch, and if you could avoid the “soaps”, there was actually some very interesting stuff happening on the tube. And at 4 PM there was a “sea change” in the programming, with shows like Dick Cavett and Mike Douglas highlighting some of the best music of the era. You can still watch them all on You Tube and they have not lost any of their charm, or edge.

After the performance there was always the obligatory interview between the host and the performer, in this case Janis Joplin. And it was always kind of amazing to see and hear these icons of rock talking and joking in such a “normal” manner. It was so at odds with the image we had in our heads of the typical stoned out, unintelligible rock star, whom we expected to see. And it was always a source of pride if your Mom, or Dad, said something along the lines of, “Well, she’s not so crazy.” It was like a personal compliment, or stamp of approval, both of the artist as a person, as well as the music in general. These shows broke down a lot of walls between generations.

Here is the interview portion of the show immediately following the performance above;

For the rest of this interview, including the portion with Michael Thomas, hit this link;

No comments:

Post a Comment