Video celebrates 50 years of the classic track hitting No 1
Columbia Records, Legacy Recordings and the Janis Joplin Estate have debuted of the first-ever official music video created especially for Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” the artist’s No. 1 single and one of the enduring signature performances in Joplin’s studio repertoire. The new “Me and Bobby McGee” short film was released on Saturday, March 20th, the 50th anniversary of the track topping the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.
Written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, “Me and Bobby McGee,” Joplin’s transcendent rendition–recorded days before her death in October 1970–turned the song into an all-time classic. With her indelible iconic performance, Joplin made “Me and Bobby McGee” her own. Released on January 12, 1971, Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” became the second posthumous single in pop music history to reach No. 1; the first was Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” in 1968.
The new “Me and Bobby McGee” official video is part of an ongoing celebration and appreciation of Joplin and her music surrounding the 50th anniversary of Pearl, the artist’s final studio album. Originally released on January 11, 1971–three months after Joplin’s passing on October 4, 1970, and eight days before what would have been her 28th birthday on January 19th – Pearl debuted Joplin’s last completed studio recordings as well as intimations of what the influential American country-soul-blues-rock singer was capable of delivering.
Colombian director-designer Sara Serna developed a multi-dimensional perspective and mixed media approach to her cinematic interpretation of “Me and Bobby McGee.” Serna worked with her frequent collaborator, Chilean art director Jko Sánchez, to create an immersive animated short film incorporating narrative, representational, abstract and biographic elements illustrating the song through handmade collage, cutouts and digital compositing. Serna and Sánchez recently created the official music video for “Bob Marley & The Wailers – Jammin (Tropkillaz Remix)” featuring Tiwa Savage.
Some of the images in the “Me and Bobby McGee” short film may be seen in the upcoming limited edition book, Janis Joplin: Days & Summers – Scrapbook 1966-68, recently announced by Genesis Publications and the Janis Joplin Estate. During her career, Janis Joplin created a personal record of her meteoric rise to fame and the flowering of Sixties counterculture. Throughout it all, she collected posters, souvenirs, press clippings, photographs and records, and annotated them with her comments. Featured alongside are previously unpublished items from her personal archive, including letters she wrote home to her family and a preceding scrapbook from her senior high school years, 1956-59. Written by the people who really knew Janis and those inspired by her, the book’s in-depth text provides a fascinating, new account of the singer’s extraordinary life. Janis Joplin: Days & Summers – Scrapbook 1966-68 will be published June 10th and is available to preorder at janisjoplin.com.