Happy birthday Mr. Johnson

The legendary blues man Robert Johnson would have turned 100 years-old on Sunday.
And in the case of Johnson, the word legendary might not be fitting enough.

Johnson is credited, in some circles, as the father of blues and rock music.

Born May 8, 1911, Johnson’s best work came a year before his death at age 27.
The original member of the Forever 27 Club (Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain also died at the age of 27) was poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he had been flirting with at a juke joint. He died a few days later.

Even his life can be considered short Johnson’s influence on music is thought to be enormous.
Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac were all inspired by his music and their music in turn inspired even more musicians.

But just how Johnson attained the skills to blow the minds of musical icons is a debate.

As the legend goes someone told Johnson to head to the crossroads near the Dockery Plantation in rural Mississippi with his guitar around midnight.

There he allegedly handed his guitar to a large black man who took the guitar and tuned it. The large black man is thought by many to be the devil.

Thus by getting his guitar tuned he made a deal with the devil for mastery of his instrument.

Yes, according to legend Robert Johnson sold his soul for the ability to play guitar.

Others say his quick turn around in musical skill was because he basically lived in a shack for a few months with only his guitar playing at least 10 hours a day, every day.

Anyways Johnson is now etched in history as a master of the blues and the pioneer of delta blues.

Here’s a little tune by Johnson that some English chaps turned into a big hit.

One thought on “Happy birthday Mr. Johnson

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