This Is Janis Joplin

1965 [1996]

Tracks (7)

01 Apple of My Eye info icon
02 2:19 Train (Mamie Desdunes) info icon
03 Codine (Buffy Sainte-Marie) info icon
04 Down And Out info icon
05 Turtle Blues (Janis Joplin) info icon
06 I Ain't Got a Worry (Hoyt Axton) info icon
(I Ain't Got No Worry)
07 Brownsville (Teodar Jackson) info icon


N. CDs: 1

Original folder name: This Is Janis Joplin (1965)
Original torrent name: Janis Joplin - This Is Janis Joplin (1965)Mp3CR-Bt.torrent

Janis Joplin
This Is Janis Joplin [no label 1CD]

Watching that other misfit Paris Hilton bawl about her jail sentence made me reach for this recording. Janis Joplin was from the other side of Paris Hilton’s social class. By all accounts, Joplin never fitted whether in school or with her peers. The only time she felt super-confident was when she sang. Hilton on the other hand is a misfit because she behaves like a spoilt brat. Both have in common a recording career.

The seven-tracks on this CD come from an audition Joplin did before she joined Big Brother & The Holding Company. The year of this recording is either 1964 or 1965. Where it was recorded remains a mystery. The tapes come from James Gurley, the Big Brother guitarist. Originally just Joplin and her acoustic guitar, Gurley has embellished it with a full band to make this sound like a real Big Brother session.

"It's unheard Janis Joplin material," Gurley says. "It's probably the best album she's done since 'Cheap Thrills.'"

"It was a work of love," he says. "I wanted it to be something, if she was looking over my shoulder, she would be proud of. I tried to keep her first and I didn't change what she did.

"This is what she was doing before Big Brother. I wanted to bring out that innocence before she got crazy from rock 'n' roll."

In 1996, Gurley said he made 100 copies and gave them away or sold some through eBay. These seven tracks later appeared on the nine-CD fan compilation Blow All My Blues Away that collected everything else Columbia saw fit not to release. But Gurley has shied from releasing this citing ownership issues. He owns the master reel-to-reel tape but clearly Joplin’s family would have something to say about any release.

Since this is pre-fame Joplin, her voice is unblemished by alcohol and drug abuse - just pure blues phrasings. The original version of Turtle Blues, Joplin’s own composition, is here plus a different version of Buffy St Marie’s Codine which Joplin adlibbed with her own lyrics.

Joplin was singing here in the hope of getting into Big Brother. Everything is pretty. In Alice Echols’ book, Scars Of Sweet Paradise, she quotes Joplin friend Frank Davis offering a view of Joplin’s darker side, when she wanted to piss everyone.

"I have a recording of her doing a song where she’s yelling at the top of her lungs for 10 minutes about dead black people," he says. "She was too damn strong for everybody."

After just one album with Big Brother, by mutual consent, Joplin split for the bright lights and the big city. Even among the counterculture, she was a misfit. If anyone has a copy of that 10-minute yelling session, send us a copy.
- Professor Red

Read the Feb 10, 2007 interview with James Gurley at

As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.

Track 01 Apple Of My Eye (3.4MB)
Track 02 219 Train (4.5MB)
Track 03 Codine [Buffy St Marie-Joplin] (6.1MB)
Track 04 Down And Out (5.0MB)
Track 05 Turtle Blues (3.8MB)
Track 06 I Ain't Got A Worry (4.9MB)
Track 07 Brownsville (3.7MB)

Janis Joplin - Vocals & Guitar
Giuseppe Insingo - Bass [2/4/5]
Ras Jab Jimmy - Bass, Tambourine, Afucho Cabasa [not shure with the name]
Etaoin Shrdlu - 12 String Guitar
Abie Perkins - Piano
Hongo Gurley - Drums, Tambourine
St. James Tabernacle Choir - BackUp Vocals
The "Grouchy old Hillbilly" - Slide Guitars

This Is Janis Joplin

1. Apple Of My Eye
2. Zip Train [219 Train]
3. Codine
4. Down & Out
5. Turtle Blues
6. I Ain't Got A Worry
7. Brownsville

In honor of James Gurley (1939-2009)
Recorded on CD "This Is Janis Joplin" and backed by Big Brother and the Holding Company guitarist, James "St. James" Gurley, who states that these songs were taped (reel to reel) by Janis and left with him in the early '60s as an audition tape. The original tape comprises the voice of Janis Joplin accompanying herself by acoustic guitar. The full band overdub and CD release was around '96.