Thursday, April 7, 2011
"Society's Child" in 1967 made her famous -- and controversial -- at the age of 16. But it was "At Seventeen" that won us over in 1975, the year Janis Ian turned 24 and won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Her album Between the Lines that year was a revelation, and we played the grooves out of it on our Pioneer turntable in a dive apartment in Ocala, Florida.
Check out the video above from the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test. Then do yourself a favor and click on this link as well because Janis Ian, who turns 60 today, knows the truth and has the perspective we all seek in music and in life.
I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth...