Robert Johnson

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So the stories go, somewhere on the crossroads of the Mississippi Delta in the early 1900s, blues guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. The people who like that story will also tell you that a few years later, Johnson died on his hands and knees, barking like a dog.

Its one of the many myths surrounding the Deep South’s musical son, the man some claim to be one of the fathers of Rock ‘n’ Roll. All we really know is that Robert Johnson died in 1938, at the age of 27. The writer and musician Elijah Wald went South looking for the real Robert Johnson, and what he discovered is as much myth about the history of the blues as is there is about the men and women who played it.


Elijah Wald, author of “Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues.”