[Dixielandjazz] Janis Joplin & OKOM

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 18 13:11:33 PST 2005

on 12/18/05 12:36 PM, Artwoo at aol.com at Artwoo at aol.com wrote:

>Hi: I have heard that bay area OKOM legend Dick Oxtot was instrumental in
>recognizing Janis Joplin's talent and getting her career started.
>Perhaps some other members who knew Dick might be able to explain this in more

Hi Art & Listmates:

As you say, Oxtot was a LEGEND in OKOM in the bay area.

In 1965 Janis Joplin wrote and recorded "Mary Jane"  with  Dick Oxtot's
Oakland Athletics Jazz Band. It is on the soundtrack to the movie "Janis":

"Now when I go to work, I work all day
Always turns out the same
When I bring home my hard-earned pay
I spend my money all on Mary Jane
Mary Jane, Mary Jane, Lord, my Mary Jane."

Mary Jane, of course, being marijuana.

She was very much a folk-blues singer before 1966, with years of experience
in folk clubs in Texas and San Francisco.  She was basically doing Bessie
Smith tunes. Extremely loud she didn't need a mike.

She also sang some Dixieland jazz with Dick Oxtot around the Bay Area and
took advantage of her first stay there, to hear some of his records, after
Barbara Dane had advised him to expose Janis to Ma Rainey, which he did.
(BTW, Barbara Dane is a wonderful tradjazz/blues singer who should be well
known to OKOM fans)

In 1966 Joplin started to outgrow her trad roots.


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