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Janis Ian Sings for You -- And Talks To Me
June 2, 2017  | By David Bianculli  | 15 comments


Thursday, I had an hour-long conversation with singer, songwriter, and author Janis Ian – and it was recorded for TV, connected with this weekend’s Rutgers University Writers’ Conference in New Brunswick. It was fun, and you can see it here…

The Rutgers-New Brunswick Writers’ Conference is June 3-4. Author and screenwriter Dennis Lehane gives the keynote address, and teaches a seminar. Janis Ian gives a Friday night concert, and also teaches seminars. And I teach a few seminars, too, on Saturday. Full details can be found at the Rutgers university website.

Meanwhile, my conversation with Janis Ian, conducted an hour or so after we met for the first time, can be viewed at the Rutgers iTV site on Vimeo. My TV connection with her is long-standing: She was a guest on the very first edition of NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1975, singing “At Seventeen,” introduced by guest host George Carlin. Billy Preston was on that first show, too, along with Andy Kaufman, the Muppets, a film by Albert Brooks, and the then-unknown Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

Come to the Friday concert, or the weekend seminars, if you can. But watch this interview – Janis Ian, either way, will be as much fun to hear as she was to talk to...

Just excuse the fact, please, that in this interview, I look disturbingly like Jiminy Glick. That settles it. My diet's on...

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Jan 27, 2023   |  Reply
Has she taken part in some other television shows? The face is familiar.
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Feb 14, 2022   |  Reply
Edie McElroy
O, thank you so very much for making this interview available to me. Janis Ian is such a mind-blowing (and yet calming and nurturing) influence for me that I was captured immediately, and wallowed in afterglow for a long time, retreading the lanes down which you two had taken me. I am finding that each new click on a Bianculli subject is delightful and I had to tell you so. Great job, Dave.
Oct 7, 2017   |  Reply
E Lomke
came to this party late...great stuff
Jul 1, 2017   |  Reply
David,you know that WHYY's audio archives has an interview with Janis and Marty Moss-Coane on Radio Times when a compilation CD and memoir were released. Those outside of Philly,know that the interview is still available online and is a fine bookend to this current interview. Very personable(Marty and Janis sound like friends chatting over coffee) and even though she retreads much of her early successes,she talks as if it is the first time she thought it all. Besides her music and writing,she would make a fantastic voice on public radio or satellite on a regular basis. Those thinking that Ian's early oeuvre is dated,know that she was a contemporary of Laura Nyro. Both recorded for Verve/Folkways and albums released around the same time;both would eventually find their sexual identity. Laura wrote hits,but received no airplay and yet fans are eagerly awaiting a reissue of the LP,this time in monaural. Janis deserves the same treatment.
Jun 3, 2017   |  Reply
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