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!