Janis Joplin - Meet Mr. Threadgill !
In 1962, Janis Joplin came to Austin, Texas. She was a member of the Waller Creek Boys (Janis Joplin, Powell St. John, Larry Wiggins), a band which took its name from Waller Creek which runs through the central part of Austin. Julie Paul was driving her sports car in the University of Texas area when she saw these three and asked them where they were going. They were going to play at a party. Julie went to the party with them and the next Saturday night took them out to Threadgill's to play with the other friends and customers of Mr. Threadgill.
Janis would have felt a little out of place initially at Threadgill's as she was a different type of person; however, Mr. Threadgill had a very diverse group of patrons and was very tolerant of all. He took a liking to Janis and she took a liking to this white haired older gentleman that could dance a low stepping Charleston, yodel like Jimmie Rodgers and in her words, "Sing like a bird!"
The singers and musicians would gather around a round wooden table with everyone else sitting on any and everything they could. A microphone was passed around the table for each performers turn at entertaining. Silver Threads And Golden Needles
was the first song Mr. Threadgill remembers hearing Janis sing. Over the next year before Janis went back to San Francisco, Janis would continue to perform with the Threadgill crowd which was becoming larger because of her growing talent.
Over the years, Janis and Mr. Threadgill would keep in touch as she would visit Austin. In 1970 at a birthday celebration for Mr. Threadgill, Janis attended and performed. Congressman J. J. Pickle also attended and commended the "Father of Austin Country Music" as a legend. This was just three months before her death on October 4, 1970.
After his wife died in 1974, Mr. Threadgill closed his business. It was boarded up. On one piece of plywood covering a window, someone had spray painted "Janis sang here!" Eventually, the property was sold to Eddie Wilson who turned it into Threadgill's, the restaurant. Wilson was a former owner of The Armadillo World Headquarters. Later on, a second Threadgill's restaurant was opened in the downtown Austin area.
Strarting from a small gas station, Threadgill's would have a huge musical heritage with the people associated with it. It's original location is at 6416 North Lamar - Austin, Texas 78752. Austin's motto is the "Live Music Capital of the World". Janis Joplin and Kenneth Threadgill helped make this happen! #JanisJoplin #KennethThreadgill #Threadgills #WallerCreekBoys #austin #austinchamberofcommerce #austinnewsstory #newsstory Resources:Singin’ the Yodeling Blues
- The story of Kenneth Threadgill and friends at his famous filling station. - http://bit.ly/1afyiIk
This video was from graduate student, Claude Anthony Mathews, in the department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin from 1981 through 1984. He created this video documentary for his Master’s thesis entitled, Singin’ the Yodeling Blues
, which illustrates the musical interests of Kenneth Threadgill and his friendships with Texas musicians who performed at Threadgills, his restaurant and music club in Austin. Musicians featured in the documentary include Jimmie Rodgers, Kenneth Threadgill, Bill Neely, Mance Lipscomb, and Janis Joplin. The documentary also mentions Powell St. John and Julie Paul, two Austin folk singers who performed with Janis Joplin in her first appearances at Threadgills in the early 1960s.
Powell St. John on Janis Joplin and The Waller Creek Boys - https://youtu.be/FQAIBeVNaFo
Legendary Ladies of Texas, Issue 53 - http://bit.ly/1DSTa6j
John Kenneth Threadgill - The Handbook of Texas - https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fth58
So Sad To Be Alone - Janis Joplin - self recorded - http://bit.ly/1PvZrYB
Janis Joplin 1962 St James Infirmary - Possibly recorded at Threadgill's? - http://bit.ly/1Pty8xW