Sunday, February 19, 2006

mp3s by Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson was a very influential Mississippi blues singer and songwriter who according to legend sold his soul to Satan. The legend goes that Mr. Johnson exchanged his soul "at the crossroads" in exchange for his great talent on the guitar. He was born and raised in Mississippi, he played blues guitar in the late 1920s. His wife and child died during childbirth around 1930 and he is said to have devoted himself to the guitar.

The "crossroads story" comes from reports that he dropped out of sight for a while in the early 1930s and returned with a new found ability to play the guitar like never before. In 1936 are so he recorded songs in San Antonio and Dallas, Texas. He then returned to Mississippi to play and sing in the Juke Joints.

His death which adds to his legend is still a mystery. He was a young man of 27 when he passed over to the other side. The legend goes on further to say that on the night of 13 August 1938 something occurred to Johnson in a bar in Greenwood Mississippi. Some report that he was stabbed, others say he was poisoned by the Juke Joint's owner because he was jealous because Johnson was spending time with his wife.

There are also those who say that the devil collected on his debt, nobody really knows. But the legend lives on.

In 1986 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence, and his songs have been covered by rock, country, and even some Jazz musicians, including Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.

In 1994 the U.S. Post Office issued a stamp in his honor... The story of his career was fictionalized in the 1986 film Crossroads.

"Love In Vain"

"Phonograph Blues"

"Kind Hearted WomanBlues"
(2:49, 492kB) - Vocalion 03416, San Antonio TX, 23 November, 1936

"Cross Roads Blues"
(2:39, 458kB) - Vocalion 03519, San Antonio TX, 27 November, 1936

"Hell Hound on MyTrail"
(2:35, 448kB) - Vocalion 06323, Dallas TX, 20 June, 1937

"TravelingRiverside Blues"
(2:47, 474kB) - Dallas TX, 20 June, 1937

"Milkcow's CalfBlues"
(2:20, 403kB) - Vocalion 03665, Dallas TX, 20 June, 1937

Robert Johnson - King of The Delta Blues

Robert Johnson - King of The Delta Blues

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