Kubernik: Janis Joplin "Pearl" 50th Anniversary

Sony Music Entertainment and the Janis Joplin Estate are commemorating the 50th anniversary of Janis Joplin's Pearl, her final studio album.

Originally released on January 11, 1971--three months after Joplin's passing on October 4, 1970, and eight days before what would have been her 28th birthday on January 19—Pearl debuted Janis' last completed studio recordings as well as intimations of what the influential American country-soul-blues-rock singer was capable of delivering.

In celebration of Pearl, janisjoplin.com will be releasing an exclusive capsule collection which includes a fine art collaboration with the estate of Barry Feinstein, the acclaimed celebrity photographer who lensed the iconic Pearl album cover; further details to be announced soon. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is curating a special exhibit devoted to Janis, Pearl and more, scheduled to open May 21, 2021.

Genesis Publications and the Janis Joplin Estate announced the upcoming publication of a new limited edition book, Janis Joplin: Days & Summers - Scrapbook 1966-68. During her career, Janis Joplin created a personal record of her meteoric rise to fame and the flowering of Sixties counterculture. Throughout it all, she collected posters, souvenirs, press clippings, photographs and records, and annotated them with her comments. Featured alongside are previously unpublished items from her personal archive, including letters she wrote home to her family and a preceding scrapbook from her senior high school years, 1956-59. Written by the people who really knew Janis and those inspired by her, the book's in-depth text provides a fascinating, new account of the singer's extraordinary life. Janis Joplin: Days & Summers - Scrapbook 1966-68 is available to preorder at: www.janisjoplin.com.

Peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, a position it held for nine weeks, Pearl showcased some of Janis's most familiar and best-loved performances including her cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" and the off-the-cuff a cappella "Mercedes Benz," the last song she ever recorded. Digital single editions of both recordings have been recently certified by the RIAA: "Me and Bobby McGee" achieving Gold & Platinum status with "Mercedes Benz" earning Gold. Mercedes-Benz, the automobile manufacturer, used the track in its 2020 holiday advertising campaign. Columbia/Legacy will release a new official video for "Me & Bobby McGee" later this year.

Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment

Pearl has been certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA with Janis Joplin's overall album catalog--including greatest hits compilations--accounting for 17 Platinum and 3 Gold certifications (approximately 18.5 million records) in the United States. Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits was RIAA certified 9x Platinum on November 22, 2019 while "Piece of My Heart" (Janis' breakout single from Big Brother & The Holding Company - Cheap Thrills, one of 1968's top-selling albums) has recently been certified RIAA Platinum. More than 31 million Janis Joplin albums have been sold worldwide.

Scheduled for April 2021, Vinyl Me, Please, the "best damn record club out there," in association with Columbia/Legacy, will release a collectible 50th anniversary limited edition of Pearl pressed on white "Pearl" Color 180 Gram Vinyl.

In July 2021, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, in association with Columbia/Legacy, will release a limited edition 50th Anniversary Edition of Pearl as an UltraDisc One-Step 180g 45RPM 2LP Box Set. Mastered from the Original Master Tapes with Mobile Fidelity's One-Step process, this edition is pressed at RTI on MoFi SuperVinyl for definitive sound quality and comes packaged with foil-stamped jackets.

Baby Janis: A Book about Nouns will be released by Running Press, an imprint of Hachette Book Group on April 20, is due.

The Janis Joplin Estate have partnered with Z2 Comics for the release of Pearl Comix, a graphic novel written by Leah Moore. Each chapter of Pearl Comix is inspired by one of the songs in the Joplin canon and illustrated by women artists from around the world.

The Janis Joplin Estate, in partnership with Community, invites fans to communicate via text on the new dedicated number: 415-301-4533.

During January 2019, the Broadway bio-musical, A Night With Janis Joplin, which ran in the 2013-2014 season, featuring the original production starring Mary Bridget Davies, was available on theatrical streaming platforms. Davies garnered a Best Actress nomination in a Musical Tony Award for her role of Joplin.

The Broadway HD multi-camera shoot was done in October 2018 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles when the production was touring.

A Night With Janis Joplin is written and directed by Randy Johnson with musical direction by Brent Crayon and choreography by Patricia Wilcox. The event was produced by La Mirada Theatre for The Performing Arts and McCoy Rigby Entertainment in association with T&D Productions, LLC.

After the 1974 Howard Alk-directed Canadian documentary Janis, 1997’s E: True Hollywood Story Janis Joplin, was a 2016 American Masters premiere of director Amy J. Berg’s documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue, and the DVD and blu-Ray from FilmRise followed.

2017 was the 50th anniversary edition of director D.A Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop that captured Joplin’s 1967 star turn and a 2018 REELZ Channel television series Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…Janis Joplin. There was also a 2017 cancelled biopic Get It While You Can to star actress Amy Adams.



Harvey Kubernik is the author of 19 books, including Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon and Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll In Los Angeles 1956-1972.  

Sterling/Barnes and Noble in 2018 published Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik’s The Story Of The Band: From Big Pink To The Last Waltz. For 2021 they are writing and assembling a multi-narrative book on Jimi Hendrix for the same publisher.

Otherworld Cottage Industries in 2020 published Kubernik’s 508-page book, Docs That Rock, Music That Matters, featuring Kubernik interviews with D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Murray Lerner, Morgan Neville, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Andrew Loog Oldham, John Ridley, Curtis Hanson, Dick Clark, Travis Pike, Allan Arkush, and David Leaf, among others.    

Kubernik’s writings are in several book anthologies, most notably The Rolling Stone Book Of The Beats and Drinking With Bukowski. He was the project coordinator of the recording set The Jack Kerouac Collection.

During 2006 Harvey Kubernik spoke at the special hearings initiated by The Library of Congress that were held in Hollywood, California, discussing archiving practices and audiotape preservation.

In 2020 Harvey served as Consultant on Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time documentary directed by Alison Ellwood which debuted on May 2020 on the EPIX/MGM television channel.

Kubernik has just penned a back cover book jacket endorsement for author Michael Posner’s book on Leonard Cohen that Simon & Schuster, Canada, will publish in October 2020, Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years.