¬† If I mention the name Janis Ian to you, You may not immediately recognize the name (unless you're a hard-core 70's music eficianado).¬† But you may remember the hit Janis had in 1975, "At Seventeen", about the difficulties of being a phomely teenager.¬† The song hit #3 on the singles chart in 1975, and won a Grammy that year as well.¬† It begins: "I learned the truth at seventeen... that love was meant for beauty queens...
¬† Janis Ian (whose real name is Janis Eddy Fink) turned 58 on April 7.¬† She was born in New York, and adopted her brother's name Ian as her surname.¬† She recorded her self-titled debut album when she was just 15.¬† The album contained the song "Society's Child", a song banned by some stations for its discussion of interracial romance.¬†
¬† Though the song initially failed, it proved Ian was not afraid to tackle sensitive issues in her music.¬† Conductor Leonard Bernstein invited her to perform the¬†tune¬†on his television special, "Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution".¬† The ensuing publicity and controversy over the performance helped the song climb up the charts.¬†
¬† After recording three more albums between 1967 and 1969, Ian temporarily quit performing to marry a photojournalist she met at a peace rally.¬† The marriage was short-lived, however, and she returned to performing.¬† After recording two albums that met with little success, Ian released her blockbuster Lp "Between The Lines", which contained the hit "At Seventeen".¬† Subsequent albums, however, did poorly, and Ian was dropped by her label.¬† After her admission of homosexuality in the early 1990's, she recorded "Breaking Silence" in 1993, which referred to that admission.¬†
¬† Enjoy the music!¬†