Janis Ian

Janis Ian

BandFolkPop

This Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, lecturer, & now author, is reaching a 3rd generation of fans with "Society’s Child: My Autobiography", endorsed by Oprah. The accompanying 2 CD-set, her 29th release and 1st career compilation, includes “At Seventeen” which earned 5 Grammy nominations in 1975.

Biography

Who are the great songwriters in America today?

Not the most popular. Not the richest. Simply the greats.

Ask any student of the form, and Janis Ian will be counted among them. The writer of “Jesse”, a song recorded by so many others that few remember
Ian wrote it; “Stars”, possibly the best song ever written about the life of a performer, recorded by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher; and the
seminal “At Seventeen”, a song that brought her five Grammy nominations (the most any solo female artist had ever garnered) in 1975, and which is now reaching its third generation of listeners.

Ian is a formidable talent, a force of nature. Ella Fitzgerald called her “The best young singer in America”. Chet Atkins said “Singer? You ought to
hear that girl play guitar; she gives me a run for my money!” Reviewers have called her live performances “overwhelming to the spirit and soul”,
and “drenched with such passion, the audience feels they’ve been swept up in a hurricane.” Not to mention her short stories, her songs for film and
television… and oh, yes. She also runs a foundation, named for her mother, that works with various universities and colleges to supply scholarships for returning students; they’ve raised over $300,000 to date!

The glowing reviews come as no surprise to Ian’s loyal fan base, who give her website a stunning quarter million hits per year – even though she
hasn’t had a top twenty record here in three decades. Nor to the computer community, who adopted her article “The Internet Debacle” as their Bible against the RIAA’s fight to stop downloaded music. Nor her international fan base, who flock to her concerts and allow her to play sold-out concert
halls in Holland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, and others too numerous to mention. Nor the science fiction community, who embraced her
anthology “Stars” with glowing reviews like the one from Publisher’s Weekly that begins “This dazzling, highly original anthology….”

Quite a broad spectrum of interests and communities, for a woman who started her life on a New Jersey chicken farm in 1951.

2008 sees a double-whammy: Society’s Child: My Autobiography, released in North America by Tarcher/Penguin, has already gotten stellar reviews; O Magazine called it “Hugely readable” and recommended it as one of 27 “must-reads” this summer. Mojo Magazine gives it a four star review, and Booklist a starred review that ends with “painfully candid, and hard to put down.”

The accompanying double CD-set, Best of Janis Ian: The Autobiography Collection, contains 31 tracks, and is the first “best of” Janis has ever
released in North America. From start to finish, it unearths such gems as Ian’s very first demo recording (“Hair of Spun Gold,” sung into her father’s tape recorder when she was thirteen years old), and features all the classics, completely re-mastered from the original sources, as well as neverbefore-heard bonus tracks.

Ian is not an artist for the faint of heart, for timid souls who prefer Britney Spears’ auto-tuned vocals to the voice of real experience. Both the book
and the CD set offer an outspoken look behind the scenes, not just of her life, but of the music industry as well. Her story of an agonizing “showcase” for Clive Davis makes you appreciate your own day job. The harrowing years she spent watching her ex-husband decline, from loving partner to threatening her life, are as truthful and straightforward as they are painful to read. And don’t forget the good! The end of Society’s Child is particularly poignant, as Ian finally meets the love of her life, Patricia. The two were married in Toronto in 2003, and celebrate nineteen years together this coming December.

For the record, Ian was born April 7, 1951, and started playing the piano at two. Far from being a child prodigy on that instrument, she hated scales
and studying, and switched to guitar at age ten. (“I figured out that while you couldn’t carry a piano, you could carry a guitar, and that was it.”) Her first song was written at twelve and recorded on her first album for Verve-Folkways in 1965, which also featured her first hit, Society’s Child. The
song ignited controversy from coast to coast, resulting in the burning of a radio station, the firing of disc jockeys who played it, and a generation
hungering for the truth finally having a female songwriter to stand beside Bob Dylan.

Ian took a break at the age of eighteen, retiring to Philadelphia for three years “to find out if I had it in me to be a good songwriter, or if I should just
go to school and become a veterinarian.” She returned with the stunning “Stars” album in 1973, and went on to cover the decade with number one
records worldwide. Her follow-up to “Between the Lines”, titled “Aftertones”, was #1 in Japan for an astonishing six months, a record still unbroken
by a female artist. “Night Rains”, featuring the Giorgio Moroder collaboration “Fly Too High”, managed to go platinum thr

Discography

http://store.janisianstore.com/cds.html

Set List

Janis performs a selection of her original music with vocals and guitar, as solo artist on stage. Janis is also available for book signings, keynote speaker engagements as well as in-depth workshops and master classes.