Thursday, September 13, 2007

Light a Candle for Janis

I am sad to report and to report more than a week late, that a true pioneer of pop music died on September 3. Janis Martin,for years having to wear the heavy moniker of the "female Elvis," was much more than that. Sadly, I learned of her late in her career through a documentary called Women of Rockabilly. I've never really like country, or even Elvis for that matter, but rockabilly and psychobilly and most importantly female rockabilly singers are top drawer in my book.

And much as I love Wanda Jackson and Brenda Lee, none of her peers came close to Janis. I have always liked my men to be a tad pretty and sweet and my women tough as nails and not willing to take shit from anybody. I featured Janis in episode six of Junk Thief TV. Watching her get down at 60+ with a beer bottle and a little rock and roll, suggest that to the final hour she lived her life the way she sang her music -- nice and rough. A beautifully brutal bright light was dimmed last week, a reminder that with all the hoopla this week about "fat" Britney Spears, she should have taken a few cues from Janis. Like Britney, she was a sexy southern gal who loved to party and eat a little biscuits and gravy now and then. But unlike Britney, Janis never begged for approval; she commanded it. Even in her sixties, she was 10 times sexier than Britney ever could be, because she knew without a doubt who she was and would never let anyone mold her into anyone else, even if that meant she had a few less record sales.

Come to think of it, those are qualities I admire in a man, especially when he is confident with who he is and doesn't resort to the same macho posturing that to me is a butch equivalent to vogueing. Drop the drag (butch or femme) and just be yourself, boy.

Thank you Janis, for carrying such a roughly hewn torch on this planet for six and a half decades. Your flame may have been extinguished, but I know the enduring embers will keep us warm for many years to come.

(Praise be to Ball of Fire on YouTube for posting these great videos of Janis. She was still rockin' even a few months ago. I sense that she did not go quietly into the night.)

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At 4:11 PM, Blogger mrpeenee said...

Oh no. I also had never run across Janis until I saw Women of Rockabilly and I was immediately taken with her.


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