Janis Hansen (singer)

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Janis Hansen
Birth nameJanis Sue Hansen
Also known asJanice Hanson, Janice Hansen-Klinger, Janis S. Hansen, Janis Klinger
Born(1942-10-10)October 10, 1942
Great Falls, Montana, U.S.
DiedOctober 4, 2017(2017-10-04) (aged 74)
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
GenresPop, Latin, Brazilian, psychedelic soul
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician, author
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums
Years active
  • 1964–1970; sporadically to 2001 (singer)
  • 2001 (author)
LabelsA&M, World Pacific, United Artists, Ford, Robin Road
Associated acts

Janis Sue Klinger (née Hansen) (October 10, 1942 – October 4, 2017) was an American singer and author.[1]

Music career[edit]

While majoring in anthropology at the University of Colorado, Hansen participated in a singing group to help pay the tuition, which led to her 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 the middle of 1966. From there, she toured and made television appearances with the group.

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).[2] However, she was able to participate on the follow-up albums, Equinox and Look Around. Together with Hall, Bob Matthews, José Soares, and João Palma; Hansen completed the classic line-up of Sérgio Mendes' Brasil '66. She sang lead on their rendition of "The Look of Love" (which only took her ten minutes to record the vocals); a rarity in the group's early canon, since most vocals then were being performed by Hall.

A prospect that Hansen would receive equal billing with Hall in the near future was unfortunately dashed; when in late 1967, Mendes dismissed all members of Brasil 66 over financial disputes and Mendes' autocracy. He quickly replaced them with a new roster, albeit with Hall to return soon at the urging of A&M chief and labelmate, Herb Alpert. The group's version of "The Look of Love" was issued as a single and stayed on Billboard Hot 100 for fourteen weeks, charting to #4 by July 1968; all of these occurring after Hansen was no longer part of the group, a success she was not able to relish. Hansen's role in the group would be filled by Karen Philipp; who, along with the new line-up, were the ones featured instead on the sleeve art of "The Look of Love" 45 RPM.

The Going Thing and the Carnival[edit]

In 1968, Hansen joined the Going Thing; a project that Love Generation alumni John and Tom Bahler organized in conjunction with the Ford Motor Company.[3] They appeared in television commercials, performed at dealers conventions, and recorded three promotional giveaway albums. The band included vocalists such as Mitch Gordon, Wes Oldaker, Jacie Berry, Susan Teague. Guitarist Larry Carlton was among the session players who contributed to the project.[4]

Simultaneously, Hansen formed the Carnival with Soares, Matthews, and Palma; under the leadership of organist Walter Wanderley. As Wanderley's backing band, the Carnival played gigs at social events and gained a following. An album for Verve Records was on its way, with a few demo tracks being recorded, when the arrangement with Wanderley and the band fell through. Matthews and Palma exited, and only Hansen and Soares remained. Their line-up was eventually rounded out by ex-Murmaid Terry Fischer and bassist Tommy Neal.

Notable record producer Bones Howe, who had worked with the Association and the 5th Dimension, took an interest in the group and signed them on to Liberty Records' World Pacific division; a second attempt at recording an album had finally commenced. The quartet's "Brasil '66 meets 5th Dimension" sound was largely the brainchild of Howe, who according to Hansen, envisioned the group to be a "Brazilian 5th Dimension". Under the direction of Howe, music accompaniment for the project was provided by L.A.'s first-call studio musicians (retroactively dubbed the Wrecking Crew), which included industry stalwarts such as Hal Blaine and Larry Knechtel.

Two singles, "Son of a Preacher Man" b/w "Walk On By" and "Laia Ladaia" b/w "Canto de Carnival", were issued to promote what was supposed to be their debut. Despite Howe's name attached to the project, however, public reaction was minimal; and plans for a follow-up LP 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.[citation needed]

Later career[edit]

After concluding her singing career, Hansen briefly relocated back to Montana; where she became an employee of the state at one point. She and her husband later founded RDK Productions, where she was vice president. Although, according to a September 1976 interview, Hansen was still open to singing and forming vocal groups[5] (even composing her own songs and becoming proficient in playing a variety of musical instruments),[1] by then she was putting her primary focus on writing and production. Hansen was a key force in the development of The Bible Adventure Club project for RDK; 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 ages 3 to 7, produced five books.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Hansen met Richard Klinger, an entertainment lawyer, circa 1967. They wed on June 16, 1970 in Los Angeles, California.[7] She is survived by her husband, two children and three grandchildren. [1]


Hansen died on October 4, 2017, six days before her 75th birthday, after a long struggle with myelofibrosis and acute myeloid leukemia at her Sherman Oaks home. She died approximately six months after her Carnival bandmate, Terry Fischer. [1]


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


  1. ^ a b c d "Janis Hansen Klinger Obituary". Los Angeles Times. November 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Arnaldo DeSouteiro (November 22, 2011). "Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66" inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame!". Jazz Station - Arnaldo DeSouteiro's Blog.
  3. ^ "Ford...The Going Thing!" on YouTube
  4. ^ "Larry Carlton Biography". The Official Website of Larry Carlton. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Ex-singer seeks return". Google. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "Published Works of Hansen and Francisco". Google. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "California Marriage Index". FamilySearch. Ancestry.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.

External links[edit]