“Janis Ian is up in Studio M on Midmorning,” I said to my 20-something son on our coffee break a little bit ago.
“Who?” he said, appearing to speak for his generation.
True, she only had two hits, but one of them confronted what the U.S. didn’t want to confront.
It’s a well-known story that the song earned her death threats and concert jeers from conservatives, but it also broke new ground, eschewing what she called “Folk Nazism.”
“I caught the same amount of flack from the folk audience who turned their backs on me because I put drums (and a harpsichord) on a record and had a hit record. You were supposed to starve,” she said in this 2009 interview.
Janis Ian performs
tonight Friday night in St. Paul. I’ll post the Midmorning audio shortly.