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Sam Andrew

Lyricist, Composer
( b. Dec 18, 1941 Taft, California, USA - d. Feb 12, 2015 San Rafael, California, USA ) Male
Sam Andrew, who was a founder of the band Big Brother and the Holding Compan, was a mainstay of the fertile San Francisco rock scene of the 1960s and played a key role in Janis Joplin's early career.

Big Brother and the Holding Company was among the first and most successful exponents of the so-called San Francisco sound, an adventurous mix of folk, blues and rock influences fueled by psychedelic drugs. (Others included Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.)

Mr. Andrew, who founded Big Brother in 1965 with the bassist Peter Albin and shared lead guitar duties with James Gurley, referred to the band's sound as a "progressive-regressive hurricane blues style." Big Brother played its first show in Berkeley in January 1966, but did not begin attracting wide attention until a few months later, when, at the urging of their manager, Chet Helms, they added Ms. Joplin to their lineup. A young singer from Texas with a penchant for the blues, she brought a fiercely uninhibited style to the band.

The group gave a triumphant performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, but its first album, hastily recorded for the small Mainstream label and released that year, was only a modest success. Big Brother's real breakthrough came with its second album, "Cheap Thrills," partly recorded in concert and featuring songs like "Piece of My Heart," the Andrew composition "Combination of the Two" and Mr. Andrew's arrangement of "Summertime."

When Ms. Joplin left Big Brother in late 1968 for a solo career, Mr. Andrew went with her as part of her Kozmic Blues Band, and Big Brother broke up. The band regrouped a few months later (without Ms. Joplin, who died of a drug overdose in 1970) but broke up again in 1972. Mr. Andrew spent several years studying composition in New York but eventually returned to San Francisco, where Big Brother and the Holding Company reunited once again, in 1987.

Mr. Andrew also performed with his own band and was the musical director of Love, Janis, a stage show based on Ms. Joplin's life, which was staged at the Village Theater in Manhattan in 2001.

Source: The New York Times obituary 


ProductionsDate of Productions
A Night with Janis Joplin
[Musical, Original]
  • Additional lyrics by Sam Andrew
  • Additional music by Sam Andrew
Oct 10, 2013 - Feb 09, 2014
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