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.
“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.