Monday, May 08, 2006

Mister Fanboy Music's Happy Birthday Shout Out to Robert Johnson (We Think)

Message from Mister Fanboy Music:

Today is the day most folks celebrate the birthday of guitarist Robert Johnson. No one is sure exactly when he was born, but most scholars choose May 8, 1911 as his birth date. A grandchild of slaves, Johnson was born in Mississippi. Don't know who Robert Johnson is? Time to go back to the School of Rock. No, not the one with Jack Black. Johnson was an early Blues pioneer who is seen by many musicologists as the true father or rock and roll. As a traveling musician for much of his career, he undoubtedly exposed to a variety of musical styles from polka to ballads. Unfortunately, little is know about Johnson's career. The most widely known legend surrounding Johnson claims that he sold his soul to the Devil at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 61 and U.S. Highway 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi in exchange for prowess in playing the guitar. In fact, the Coen Brothers O Brother, Where Art Thou?

contains a nod to Johnson with its Tommy Johnson character.

All that remains are two photos and 29 different recorded songs. He died in 1938, reportedly poisoned for getting too close to "some other man's woman." He is believed to be buried in an unmarked grave at Little Zion Church, outside of Greenwood, Mississippi.

If you're unfamiliar with Johnson's work, now's the time to jump on the web and search it out. You won't regret it.

Mister Fanboy Music


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