Janis Joplin dies
On this day in 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin died of an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol. The twenty-seven-year-old native of Port Arthur had embraced the hippie counterculture at the University of Texas at Austin. She developed her musical skills at Kenneth Threadgill's club and other Austin venues. Joplin's four years of meteoric fame began when she joined Big Brother and the Holding Company in California in May 1966. Her bluesy rendering of such songs as Willie Mae Thornton's "Ball and Chain" made her a national star, but her self-destructive manner of living led to her early death.