On January 11, 1971, Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee” was released as a single. Now, I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but her song is a cover version of the Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster’s original song. That might come as a surprise to at least a few people. But what might be surprising – and also tragic – for people to hear is that Joplin’s version came out four months after she died of an accidental drug overdose.
“Me and Bobby McGee” went on to become her only number-one single, which was released on her posthumous album “Pearl.” That album sold over 4 million copies, so yeah, I think it’s safe to say that this song is kind of a big deal. And while Kristofferson does indeed get the credit he deserves for penning the original; it’s Joplin who steals the thunder.
But do you know what makes this song so epic? What is the real story? Well, you’re about to find out.