Black Mountain Blues | Janis Joplin (Bessie Smith Cover)

“During her Austin days, Janis wasn’t comfortable singing in public. She was shy and without any particular style. She sang the blues like Bessie Smith and also imitated Jean Richie and Rosie Maddox. There was something special about Bessie Smith, though. Janis identified with her to the point of feeling that she was Smith reincarnated. Janis once said that she became a singer because Grant Lyons loaned her his Bessie Smith and Leadbelly records. She learned to sing the blues by listening to Bessie for hours and imitating her.”


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