Cary Clack writes [San Antonio Express-News, October 5, 2010] that Janis Joplin shared her pain when she sang the blues.
“She was an artist that had a distinct sound,” says Michelle Carey, lead singer of P.M. Soul, a vocal powerhouse herself. “She was an original. She was expressive and passionate. She sang as if she had a score to settle; we felt her blues, we heard her cry, we knew she had done some living.”
. . . Among the reasons a teenager would take his life are being humiliated and treated like an outcast.
But a third thing that should come to mind when thinking of Joplin is that of an alienated teenager at Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur who was shunned and mocked by classmates (including former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson).
“I didn’t have many friends in high school,” she said. “They laughed me out of class, out of town, out of the state, so I’m going back.”