Music: Alone with the Blues

Those who knew Janis Joplin only from her records can be forgiven for wondering quite what the fuss was about. It could not be communicated fully on records—the burning lava flow of energy raising audiences to their feet and into the aisles. But for those who saw her perform even once, it was not easy to forget the gyrating girl in a glowworm mini, all surging emotion boiling up through swirls of curses and Southern Comfort in a Dixie cup. Or the single vivid impression recorded in the mind's eye that, without the scalding voice and tremulous ostrich plume headdress, she...

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