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January 22, 2013

Janis, a cappella and her 70th birthday

Yahoo Music:

In the annals of improbable rock classics, Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” looms even unlikelier than most. It’s sung a cappella, lasts less than two minutes, and wasn’t even written or recorded with a public release in mind. Yet, on the occasion of Joplin’s 70th birthday, “Benz” remains one of the songs most associated with the late singer—partly because of the poignancy of its having been recorded on her final day in the studio, and partly because it’s one of the great light-hearted sing-alongs of the 20th century.

The posthumously released "Pearl"“It’s a campfire song, isn’t it?” says Bob Neuwirth, who wrote the song with Joplin between sets two months before she died in 1970. “You don’t need any particular musical skill to sing it, and because it’s a cappella, everybody can tackle it in their own way. But I’m sure Janis would be shocked at the attention that that song has gotten over the years,” he laughs. “She’d just be shaking her head in disbelief at it.” Read more.

Posted by acapnews at January 22, 2013 12:00 AM