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Janis Joplin: A San Francisco Legend

Janis Joplin: A San Francisco Legend

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One of the most revered and influential rock ’n’ roll singers of all time, Janis Joplin (Jan. 19, 1943 – Oct. 4, 1970) thrilled audiences and blazed new creative trails before her death at age 27. Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil, West of Memphis, Prophet’s Prey) examines Joplin’s story in depth, for the first time on film, presenting an intimate portrait of a complicated and driven artist.

American Masters – Janis: Little Girl Blue premieres nationwide Tuesday, May 3, at 8pm on KQED as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series. The broadcast features a never-before-seen extended film cut with additional archival performance footage and new interviews with Joplin’s sister Laura Joplin and musicians influenced by Janis: Alecia Moore (a.k.a. Pink), Juliette Lewis, Melissa Etheridge and the film’s narrator, Chan Marshall, who is best known as indie rock star Cat Power. In tribute, she performs “A Woman Left Lonely” from Joplin’s final studio album Pearl, released posthumously on Jan. 11, 1971. This year marks the album’s 45th anniversary.

Also, following at 10pm is the KQED production Janis Joplin: San Francisco’s Pearl. Follow Janis Joplin’s career from her rise to fame at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival to her untimely death in Los Angeles in 1970. Narrated by Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin, the documentary features interviews with Joplin’s former bandmates and Bay Area journalists and performers.

Watch the trailer for Janis: Little Girl Blue below. Visit KQED.org/tv to find upcoming broadcasts.


Want more Janis? Check out the exclusive stories and interview transcripts below, and bonus content from the filmmakers.

About Janis and the ’60s

Combination of the Two: How San Francisco Helped Make Janis a Legend

PHOTOS: The 1960s San Francisco Bay Area, Seen Though Family Albums

A Midnight Call from Janis Joplin: Ben Fong-Torres Tells All

Janis Joplin Career Timeline

Read Excerpts from Love, Janis

Exclusive Interviews

Jorma Kaukonen on Janis Joplin and Recording the 1964 ‘Typewriter Tape’

Chet Helms Discusses Bringing Janis to San Francisco, Start of Music Scene

Laura Joplin Talks About What it Was Like Growing Up with Janis

Guitarist Sam Andrew on Playing with Janis, Start of Music Scene

About The Film

Janis Joplin’s Short, Bluesy Life Explored in New Documentary

Amy Berg’s ‘Janis’ Documents a Musician Who Was All or Nothing

Bonus Video Clips and Excerpts from ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’

‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’ Goes Beyond Cliches Of A Sad Childhood

The Making of ‘Janis: Little Girl Blue’

Related Content from the KQED Arts Archives

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