Monday, January 7, 2013

Gay Activist Singer Janis Ian Speaks OUT

Update: Janis Ian Wins Grammy For Best Spoken Word Album for "Society's Child: My Autobiography" :) Congrats Janis!!
 In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with singer songwriter Janis Ian about her autobiography “Society’s Child” that’s been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Category. The title comes from her Grammy nominated song of the same name she wrote when she was only 15 years old that also gave her a place in the Grammy Hall of Fame. This is her 9th nomination in categories from jazz to folk with two Grammy wins. This year the Best Spoken Word Category is dominated by three extremely talented and respected gay women including Ian, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres. The other nominees in this category are Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama. During the 1960’s most adults could not have survived the scorn and controversy that surrounded her debut single and first hit “Society’s Child” that focused on an interracial couple in an era when tempers flared at even such a mention. Ian stated, “The first song I had a hit with was a song called “Society’s Child” about a black boy dating a white girl and it became very controversial. Radio stations were burned down and people were fired for playing it, so it was a baptism by fire and the book starts with that and continues until I meet my partner of now 24 years, Pat, here in Nashville. And we go through some adventures together, but at the end of the day it all works out.”

 When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Janis added, “The same as my commitment to any civil rights, to women’s rights or children’s rights. Of course I have a different vested interest in the gay community because I am gay and I would certainly enjoy the tax advantages that straight people have and the inheritance advantages and things like social security. But I’ve always been a civil rights advocate across the board. That’s how I was raised.”

 Janis Ian has shared a stage with Tom Paxton, Lou Gossett Jr., Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, and a host of other singer-songwriters. In 2013 she will be touring throughout America and with Tom Paxton in the UK in the fall. The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on February 10th 2013 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will air on CBS at 8P ET/PT.
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