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Joplin blew the band away during her audition, and was quickly offered membership into the group.
In her early days with Big Brother, she sang only a few songs and played the tambourine in the background.
Breaking new ground for women in rock music, Joplin rose to fame in the late 1960s and became known for her powerful, blues-inspired vocals.
She grew up in a small Texas town known for its connections to the oil industry with a skyline and dotted with oil tanks and refineries.
There, she devoted more time to hanging out and drinking with friends than to her studies.
Developing a love for music at an early age, Joplin sang in her church choir as a child and showed some promise as a performer.
She played some gigs, including a side-stage performance at the 1963 Monterey Folk Festival—but her career didn't gain much traction.
Joplin then spent some time in New York City, where she hoped to have better luck getting her career off the ground, but her drinking and drug use (she'd begun regularly using speed, or amphetamine, among other drugs) there proved to be detrimental to her musical aspirations.
At the time, the group was managed by another longtime friend of Joplin's, Chet Helms.
Big Brother, whose members included James Gurley, Dave Getz, Peter Albin and Sam Andrew, was part of the burgeoning San Francisco music scene of the late 1960s; among the other bands involved in this scene were the Grateful Dead.
But it wasn't long before Joplin assumed a bigger role in the band, as Big Brother developed quite a following in the Bay Area.