2014 49¢ Janis Joplin
This Janis Joplin stamp is the fifth in the Music Icons series.
The “Queen of Psychedelic Soul,” Janis Joplin infused her blues-inspired songs with a raw emotion and distinctive voice that made her one of the era’s leading female rockers.
Growing up in Port Arthur, Texas, Joplin (1943-70) was a shy girl, often the target of bullies who made her a loner by her teen years. She took comfort in poetry, painting and music, being particularly inspired by Bessie Smith, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton.
Joplin made her way to San Francisco, California, in 1963 and began singing with different bands. She got her big break at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, fronting for Big Brother and the Holding Company. The band got a record contract based on that performance and Joplin became a national star.
Joplin would front two more bands in her life – the Kozmic Blues Band and the Full Tilt Boogie Band, with the latter considered her best group. Though Joplin’s time with them was short, it did produce her most popular album, the posthumously released Pearl, and her only number-one hit, “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Though her career lasted just four years, Joplin remains one of the most recognizable singers of her time. Perhaps it’s because of the intimate connection she felt with her music, stating, “All you... have that really matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.”
The image for the stamp was taken from a June 1970 photo by David Gahr. The original was a black and white photo and Joplin’s trademark sunglasses were tinted pink. The printing on the stamp is similar to the psychedelic style used in the 1960s.
49¢ Janis Joplin, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: August 9, 2014
City: San Francisco, CA, at the Outside Lands Music Festival
Printed By: Ashton Potter USA Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed, sheets of 144, with nine panes of 16 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ½