Janis and Bessie … 

Oddly enough, Pearl was nervous singing in public back in her days in Austin. She’d sing Bessie Smith blues songs. Bessie had been killed in a car accident back in the 30′s and her grave had remained unmarked for over 30 years. A Philadelphia newspaper started a fundraising campaign to fix that injustice and on August 8, 1970, Janis paid what remained due for Bessie Smith’s headstone.