R.I.P. Sam Andrew

Sam Andrew, best known as the man who introduced the musical world to Janis Joplin, has died at 73. TMZ reports that Andrew died today with his wife Elise at his side. His death stemmed from complications related to a heart attack several weeks back that left him in critical condition.

Andrew was the founder of Big Brother And The Holding Company. The group came together when Andrew and Peter Albin began jamming together, eventually adding James Gurley and Chuck Jones to the lineup. All they needed was a lead singer, so Andrew recruited Joplin to join the group in 1966. By 1968 the group had issued two huge hits “Piece of My Heart” and “Summertime” — both of which became cultural anthems in the late 1960s. Joplin quit the group in 1968 and brought Andrew with her, and the pair recorded one album called I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! under the name Kozmic Blues Band. After Joplin’s death in 1970, Andrew returned to Big Brother And The Holding Company until the 1990s. At one point, he also fronted his own eponymous group, the Sam Andrew Band. He also studied music theory at the New School and composition at the Mannes School and oversaw the music for the Jopin musical Love, Janis.

[Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images.]

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