National Public Radio dubbed Janis Joplin “the Queen of Rock” on a segment that aired this morning. Instead of the typical “best of” (read: “most famous”) track selections, the producers included a live version of “Women Is Losers” from a 1966 performance at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom. “Ball and Chain” from Monterey Pop followed and it was rounded out by the famous “Me and Bobby McGee.” They did not credit Kris Kristofferson with the song, which is too bad, as many people erroneously believe was written by the Queen of Rock. For more Janis Joplin on NPR, be sure to listen to the interview about The 27s from 2009.
There is little doubt that Janis Joplin’s iconic voice and wild lifestyle in the midst of the counter cultural sixties opened up the playing field to female rock stars, but although there have been countless famous singer-songwriters in the Joni Mitchell-vein and divas such as Madonna, not nearly enough larger-than-life Queen-bee rock personalities have emerged. Courtney Love and Amy Winehouse stand out like an open bottle of Jack at Sunday mass of course. Who else?