“No one to that point had seen a White girl sing the blues like she sang it. And she was a tough Texas girl, she lived really tough, she drank tough, she did drugs, too many and too tough. But as a vocalist, her performance at Monterey was also one of the great concert performances of all time.” - Lou Adler
Lou Adler was a co-founder of Monterey International Pop Festival, known to be responsible for breakthroughs for legends like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and Otis Redding to a mass American audience.
In 1967, Janis Joplin was the lead singer for San Francisco psychedelic rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. They made an appearance at Monterey Pop Festival, closing their set covering Big Mama Thornton's song "Ball and Chain".
Most of the attendees had no idea who Joplin was nor the band she was in. When they finished performing "Ball and Chain", the crowd went wild as they have never seen someone who could sing like her. It was the very same festival that catapulted her career into stardom.
Relive that moment in the full performance above.