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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Robert Johnson: fans mark the centenary of the great bluesman's birth TODAY

A whole lotta the music I love came from Robert Johnson and his cohorts. Now, today, it is 100 years since he was born.

There's a full article at the Guardian on


"For all his talent and enduring legacy, however, Johnson's music originally had a limited appeal. The sort of recordings he made – a singer accompanied by a single guitar – were already disappearing from the black music scene, and even his greatest hit, Terraplane Blues, sold just 5,000 copies in its first run. But in the early 1960s, a reissue compilation LP of Johnson's music could not have been better timed. Called King of the Delta Blues, with 16 of Johnson's total opus of 41 recorded songs, it became a gateway to the genre for British guitar players, including Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.

"When you think you're getting a handle on playing the blues, you hear Robert Johnson and then think, 'Whoa, there's a long way to go yet'," said Richards in the 1990 documentary The Search For Robert Johnson. Clapton described him as "the greatest folk blues player of all time … the greatest singer, the greatest writer".


I must admit I love Cassandra Wilson's version of Come On in My Kitchen - and the classic Clapton version of Crossroads.

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