by: Dale the Green Guy
Divas, yes we have divas. Madonna may be the diva to end all divas, but let’s not forget Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Brittany and the list can go on and on and on.
No one will doubt any of these singers/performers and their talents. They are adored and loved by millions, their music has made them rich beyond their wildest dreams, and their fame stretches the boundaries of luxury, opulence and, in some cases, good taste.
However, there was one diva, the original diva, who knew nothing about fame and fortune. All she wanted to do was sing, and her singing, as much as anything else, made her, perhaps, the most legendary female singer in the history of rock and roll.
Born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, she was called “Pearl” by her friends. In high school she loved singing folk music and the blues, and when she heard that San Francisco was “where it’s at” during the 60’s, she moved up there. Although she couldn’t sing very well, her stage presence was electric, and when watching her at a gig, they said you couldn’t keep your eyes off of her. Although she wasn’t a physical beauty, the beauty was in what came out of her when she was on stage. And that beauty was being noticed by some of the top musicians of the era.
She hooked up with an outfit called, Big Brother and the Holding Company, a heavy metal band that needed a lead singer to slightly tame their music a bit. Big Brother was already established, but when Pearl joined, they slowly began to get mainstream gigs and headlines.
It was at the famed Monterey Pop festival that Big Brother with Pearl were noticed by the world. One song in particular, “Ball and Chain” blew everyone out of the water. Pearl killed it, and no one could believe the force, the emotion and the soul that she was able to put into that song. From then on, her superstar status was assured, with or without the band.
Big Brother put out several songs that featured the dynamic voice of Pearl, and the gigs they played were some of the best to ever be witnessed. She became the female face of the 60’s counterculture, as Pearl began to dress in feathered boas, flowing robes and hair that was as wild and free as the decade was.
In time she went solo, and with her self titled record album called, “Pearl,” Janis Joplin became the biggest and most popular female singer in her day.
She passed away at 27 from a drug overdose, but her legend has never wavered. She was the original diva, a superstar, a singer and performer whose style touched everyone who saw as she her belted out the songs from somewhere deep within, and there will never be another like her.
Experience the legend, Pearl doing “Ball and Chain” at Monterey
Piece Of My Heart—Janis Joplin
by: Dale the Green Guy