Janis Ian was born April 7th, 1951. At only 15
years of age she wrote, arranged and recorded the chart-topping hit, "Society's
Child". She has never looked back or faltered. Her first album in
1967 had her nominated for a Grammy, at only sixteen years old!
Janis is a virtual music-writing machine, most of which she
recorded herself. She not only sings, but plays instruments as well,
especially the piano and guitar. Janis said some time back, "I get told a
lot, 'You play like a guy', and I'm not sure I know quite what that means.
I guess it's meant to be a compliment. I do know that back when I started,
women just didn't play. They might strum along and accompany themselves,
but they weren't players. So when people see me live for the first time,
it's always this big surprise to them."
Janis writes reality, songs that make you think, musical
poetry that crawls around in your brain and pierces your heart. You are
liable to think "Oh, yeah, I've been there", and then look at your own
experiences in a different light.
And example of how she thinks,
especially apropos in light of current events, this quote: "They'll tell
you that the darkness is a blessing in disguise, or you'll never have to notice
if you're sighted or you're blind. And they'll do their best to keep you
from the light."
In addition to her own albums and live performances, many
of her pieces were made hits by others or featured in many popular movies or top
Some other greatest hits were "Seventeen", "Between
the Lines", "Jesse" and "Fly Too High". She has recorded with other top
stars in the music industry, from pop to jazz to folk to country and back again.
Janis has also written and sung some of the most popular
commercial advertising music for TV and radio.
In 1982, Janis stopped recording and sort of dropped out
for a decade, studying, learning and experimenting, and now has burst out anew,
refreshed, and ready for the last half of her astounding musical life.