Janis Hansen (singer)

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Janis Hansen
Birth name Janis Sue Hansen
Born 1943 (age 73–74)
Montana, United States
Genres Pop, Latin, Brazilian, psychedelic soul
Occupation(s) Singer, author
Instruments Vocals, piano, bass, drums
Years active 1964‒2001
Labels A&M, World Pacific, United Artists, Ford, Robin Road
Associated acts Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, the Carnival, the Going Thing

Janis Sue Hansen Klinger (born 1943) is an American singer and author.

Early life[edit]

Hansen was born in Montana, United States. Not much is known about her early life up until the mid-1960s, when she attended college in the state of Colorado.

Music career[edit]

It was in Colorado where she participated in a singing group; which in turn led her to being discovered by a talent scout. According to Hansen, "I received a telephone call from Los Angeles and was told a singer was needed for the Andy Williams Show. Somebody had heard me singing and I was recommended for the job."

Plans of finishing college were postponed, and Hansen flew to Los Angeles to join the Andy Williams Show.

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66[edit]

Having scored a big hit with a cover of Jorge Ben Jor's "Mas Que Nada", the Brazilian-inspired pop group, Brasil '66, were riding high on the charts; the demand for touring increased. Bandleader Sérgio Mendes was in need of a second vocalist to complement lead singer Lani Hall after original member Bibi Vogel left the group to pursue an acting career. An acquaintance of Mendes recommended Hansen, who that time was already on the Andy Williams Show; and after a successful audition, Hansen joined Brasil in late-1966. From there, she toured and made television appearances with the group.

Contrary to popular belief, Hansen did not sing on their first album, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, nor did she appear on the front cover art (she only appeared on the back).[1] However, she was able to participate on the follow-up albums, Equinox and Look Around. She sang lead in Brasil's chart-topping rendition of "The Look of Love"; a rarity in the group's early canon, since most vocal duties then were being performed by Hall.

The success of that song was an indicator that Hansen could sing more leads for Brasil, perhaps making it possible for her to receive equal billing with Lani Hall. Unfortunately, any chance to gain further recognition was dashed when, in early 1968, before the single was even out, Mendes dismissed all members of Brasil over their opposition to the former's parsimonious ways. He quickly replaced them with a new roster; with Hall being the only one from the classic line-up to return at the urging of Herb Alpert. The role which Hansen vacated eventually would be filled by Karen Philipp.[citation needed]

The Going Thing and the Carnival[edit]

In 1968, Hansen joined the Going Thing; a project that Love Generation alumnaes John and Tom Bahler organized in conjunction with the Ford Motor Company.[2] They appeared in television commercials, performed at dealers conventions, and recorded three promotional giveaway albums. The band included session performers such as vocalists Mitch Gordon, Wes Oldaker, Jacie Berry, Susan Teague; and guitarist Larry Carlton.[3]

Simultaneously, Hansen and fellow ex-Brasil José Soares formed the Carnival, along with ex-Murmaid Terry Fischer and bassist Tommy Neal.[4] The quartet's Brasil '66-meets-5th Dimension sound was largely the brainchild of legendary producer and engineer Bones Howe. Howe gathered L.A.'s finest Wrecking Crew studio musicians (Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, etc.) for the project.[4] Two singles, "Son of a Preacher Man" b/w "Walk On By" and "Laia Ladaia" b/w "Canto Carnival", were issued to promote what was supposed to be their debut album. Despite Howe's name attached to the project, however, public reaction was minimal; and plans for a follow-up record were scrapped. A single culled from the aborted sessions, "Where There's a Heartache (There Must Be a Heart)" b/w "The Truth About It", was put out in December 1970; but the Carnival had already dissolved by then.

Hansen continued her participation in the Going Thing until its folding, which took place not long after the Carnival's own demise. With both groups no longer active, she retired outright from the music industry.

Later career[edit]

After concluding her singing career, Hansen turned to writing and production. She was a vice president at RDK Productions and was a key force in the development of The Bible Adventure Club project; writing the stories (which were illustrated by Wendy Francisco) and songs, and guiding the artistic overview of the entire series. The series, aimed at children from 3 to 7 years of age, has produced five books in all.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Hansen met Richard Klinger, an entertainment lawyer, in 1968. They wed on June 16, 1970 in Los Angeles, California.[6] She has two children and one grandchild.


  • Hansen, Janis S., Wendy Francisco (illustrator), Creation: God's Wonderful Gift, Crossway Books, with CD-rom, 36p,ISBN 978-1-58134-295-6
  • Hansen, J., Wendy Francisco (illustrator), David and His Giant Battle, Crossway Books, with CD-rom, 36p, ISBN 978-1-58134-324-3
  • Hansen, J., Wendy Francisco (illustrator), Jesus: The Birthday of the King, Crossway Books, 36p, with CD-rom, ISBN 978-1-58134-334-2
  • Hansen, J., Wendy Francisco (illustrator), Jonah and His Amazing Voyage, Crossway Books, 36p, with CD-rom, ISBN 978-1-58134-329-8
  • Hansen, J., Wendy Francisco (illustrator), Noah and the Incredible Flood, Crossway Books, 36p, with CD-rom, ISBN 978-1-58134-339-7