Janis Joplin tour invites fans to Texas


Janis Joplin in concert

Good News Comes in Small Packages Division: This was the entirety of the article in the Dallas Morning News travel section Sunday:

Come on down for a Janis Joplin tour

Head down to Port Arthur – in a Mercedes Benz, if possible – for a new self-guided Janis Joplin driving tour. The 15 stops include her childhood home, churches, schools and the Museum of the Gulf Coast, which has an exhibit devoted to the rock and blues singer. For the tour brochure, call 1-800-235-7822.

Is there more? Sure — below the fold. Summertime’s a good time to make the tour — but so is spring, fall, and winter.

Port Arthur’s Museum of the Gulf Coast has a display, and a decent on-line presence, with more information:

The Museum’s Music Hall of Fame features a permanent exhibit on the life and career of Janis Joplin with a wide array of artwork, personal effects, photographs and memorabilia as well as a replica of Joplin’s painted Porsche. Audio-visual touch screens allow visitors to see and hear samples of Janis’ soulful performances. The Museum’s gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenirs commemorating Joplin’s influence and worldwide impact. In addition, visitors are welcome to view two films relating to Janis Joplin: “Janis,” a live filmed concert and “Southern Discomfort,” a documentary made for Biography are available for viewing in the Museum’s Lloyd Hayes Theater. We recommend that visitors schedule film screenings in advance by calling 409-982-7000.

At that site you can download a Microsoft Word file that features a self-directed tour of Janis Joplin sites in and around the Port Arthur area, enough sites to make a busy weekend in the town. Here is the entire tour:

Janis Joplin was a force to be reckoned with in the world of 1960s music. Her passionate and soulful song stylings made her one of the iconic voices of her generation. Since her death in 1971, she continues to affect fans of all ages the world over. For fans who have the opportunity to visit her home town of Port Arthur, here is a list of important sites in the early life of Janis Joplin:

Janis Joplin Road Trip

- St. Mary’s Hospital located at 3600 Gates Blvd.

Janis Lyn Joplin was born here on January 19, 1943 to Seth & Dorothy Joplin. She was their first child.

- Texaco Refinery located on 25th Street

At the time of Janis’ birth and throughout her childhood, her father was an employee of the Texas Company (Texaco). Though the refinery now bears the name of MOTIVA, a historical marker stands as a testament to that company’s history

- Joplin’s first home located at 4048 Procter Street

The Joplin’s were living here when Janis was born. Although the home has since been torn down, individual bricks from the original home are available for sale at the Museum of the Gulf Coast

- Joplin’s childhood located at 4330 32nd Street

On August 19, 1947, the Joplin’s purchased this property at 3130 Lombardy in Griffing Park. The address was later changed in 1982 when Griffing Park consolidated with the City of Port Arthur.

- Joplin’s baptismal church located at 620 Woodworth Blvd.

In the early 1950s, Janis along with her mother and younger sister Laura were members of the First Christian Church. Janis was baptized by immersion in 1950 by the Reverend John M. Hughes. Her mother taught Sunday school and Janis sang in the Youth Choir. Some years later a small painting of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene by Janis was found in the church closet. It is currently on view in the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s Music Hall. First Christian Church is now located at 5856 9th Ave. and displays an autographed photo of Janis in the choir.

- Tyrrell Elementary School located at 4401 Ferndale

Janis attended grades 1-6 here. In 1950 she joined the Bluebirds, a junior Camp Fire Girls club.

- Woodrow Wilson Junior High located at 1500 Lakeshore

Janis attended grades 7-9 here. The school now serves as Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

- Thomas Jefferson High School located at 3501 12th Street

Janis attended grades 10-11 here. The school now serves as Thomas Edison Middle School.

- Thomas Jefferson High School located at 2200 Jefferson Drive

Janis attended her senior year of high school at this location. Hers was the first class to graduate from the new campus in the spring of 1960. The school now now serves as Memorial High School.

- St. Mark’s Methodist Church located at 3131 South Park

In 1961, Janis along with her mother and sister moved their church memberships to this church.

- Port Arthur College located at 1500 Procter Street

After high school Janis attended Port Arthur College where she earned a Key Punch certificate and her mother worked as the Registrar. Janis later went on to study at Lamar University in Beaumont as a liberal arts major and the University of Texas at Austin as an art major. Port Arthur College is now Lamar State College – Port Arthur.

- Coffee House located at 3632-34 Gulfway Drive

As a teenager and young adult, Janis enjoyed spending time here. This was a gathering place for young people to drink coffee, listen to music and read poetry.

- KPAC radio station located on the campus of Lamar State College

Janis often visited this radio station where classmate Sam Monroe worked as a disc jockey. The radio station later became the bookstore for Lamar State College – Port Arthur, however the radio tower is still proudly on view.

- Pleasure Island

Janis often joined friends here where they gathered for bonfires and parties in the fishing shacks along the highway toward Holly Beach, Louisiana. Pleasure Island and Louisiana were popular escapes for many teenagers in Port Arthur during the 1960s. On these trips across the “river” Janis would visit such music clubs as The Big Oak, Buster’s and The Stateline taking in the unique mix of soul, blues, gospel and rock and roll that emanated from this region. Unfortunately none of these venues are still standing. Janis Joplin publicity photo, from Museum of the Gulf Coast

- Museum of the Gulf Coast located at 700 Procter Street

The Museum’s Music Hall of Fame features a permanent exhibit on the life and career of Janis Joplin with a wide array of artwork, personal effects, photographs and memorabilia as well as a replica of Joplin’s painted Porsche. Audio-visual touch screens allow visitors to see and hear samples of Janis’ soulful performances. The Museum’s gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenirs commemorating Joplin’s influence and worldwide impact. In addition, visitors are welcome to view two films relating to Janis Joplin: “Janis,” a live filmed concert and “Southern Discomfort,” a documentary made for Biography are available for viewing in the Museum’s Lloyd Hayes Theater. We recommend that visitors schedule film screenings in advance by calling 409-982-7000.

The Museum is run by the Port Arthur Historical Society, “Jurassic to Janis Joplin . . . A Melting Pot of Cultural Diversity.” God bless these small museums!

(Photo borrowed from Dallas Morning News — probably a file photo)

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4 Responses to Janis Joplin tour invites fans to Texas

  1. […] true nature of freedom Cue the Janis Joplin. Freedom's just another word for getting drunk with a squid This entry was written by […]

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  2. Michael Castielli says:

    Yes. Amazing talent. That’s a fair statement for Janis Joplin.

    Like

  3. […] I didn’t find much new out in blogdom this time, either — so I may as well include my own post here, noting the creation of a self-guided Janis Joplin tour of Port Arthur, Texas, her ….  Texas music continues to be under-covered by blogs.  I’m probably missing some good ones, […]

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  4. I was wondering how many of the sites would have been proud to claim her when she was alive, but then I read the part about the painting and autographed picture in the Church she attended. I have to say I am glad to see that a Church would actually admit she was a member.

    But it is a shame you don’t include videos here. There must be a YouTube that would give your younger readers a slight feeling of what it was like to actually hear and watch her sing. The recordings don’t quite do it.

    Prup
    (who never met her, but once sent a bottle of pretty good wine backstage to her just to say thanx for her amazing talent)

    Like

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