'A Night with Janis Joplin' Debuts Lost Tune - Song Premiere

Jerry Ragovoy wrote 'I'm Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven' for the singer just before she died

January 17, 2014 7:00 AM ET
A Night with Janis Joplin
'A Night With Janis Joplin'
Courtesy Broadway Records

In tandem with today's digital release of the original Broadway cast album of A Night With Janis Joplin, Rolling Stone is premiering "I'm Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven," a song originally written for the singer shortly before her death in 1970. Penned by producer Jerry Ragovoy and performed in her signature style by the acclaimed show's star, Mary Bridget Davies, "Heaven" highlights the 19-song album, which will also be available on CD on February 11th.

Where Does Janis Joplin Rank on Our List of 100 Greatest Artists?

"Over the course of the two years I've spent living 'I'm Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven' and breathing this incredible show, Mary and I have spoken often about the challenges of filling Janis' shoes, which is obviously a monumental undertaking," lead producer Dan Chilewich explains. "Mary is an intensely talented and passionate artist, and I've watched her take on this role with great reverence for the legacy of Janis and her siblings, Michael and Laura Joplin.

"Mary was so thrilled with the opportunity to record for the first time a song written specifically for Janis by the great Jerry Ragovoy," Chilewich adds. "And watching her perform it was a real treat for everyone present, especially Jerry's wife, Bev Ragovoy, who was kind enough to allow this to come to fruition.” 

In addition to Joplin's prominent material, the cast album A Night With Janis Joplin features songs by her greatest influences, including Aretha Franklin, Odetta, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith and Etta James. The show, written and directed by Randy Johnson, opened at the Lyceum Theatre in Manhattan on October 10th.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »