Who are the great songwriters in America today? Not the most popular. Not the richest. Simply the greats. Ask any student of the form, and Janis Ian will be counted among them The writer of Jesse, a song recorded by so many others that few remember Ian wrote it; Stars, possibly the best song ever written about the life of a performer, recorded by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher; and the seminal At Seventeen, a song that brought her five Grammy nominations (the most any solo female artist had ever garnered) in 1975, which is now reaching its third generation of listeners.
2008 marks many milestones for Ian: it is the 42nd anniversary of the release of Society's Child. It is the 44th anniversary of her first New York show (at The Village Gate, in 1964, at the age of 13). It is the 45th anniversary of the publication of her first song, as well as the 45th anniversary of her career as a songwriter (her first song, Hair of Spun Gold, published in Broadside Magazine in 1963, when Ian was twelve years old.) The 40th anniversary of her first Grammy nomination. Hard to believe she started so young; hard to believe she's still going strong.