Monday, August 22, 2011

Robert’s Ghost

A few weeks ago I wrote about the “27 club” – a moniker for musicians who died at the peak of their career but at the young age 27, like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Blues man Robert Johnson was probably the first; he died on August 16, 1938.

Even though I’m a fan of blues music, in fact it’s my favorite, I knew little about Johnson till this year. He is considered as influential in many ways as B.B. King and Muddy Waters, but is less well known outside of blues enthusiast circles. His music was not commercially successful during his lifetime but was “discovered” in the 1960s and inspired Eric Clapton and others.

Songs in his discography made famous by others in later years include “Sweet Home Chicago” (in the Blues Brothers movie), “Cross Road Blues” (adapted by Clapton to become “Crossroads”), “Riverside Blues” (Led Zeppelin) and others recorded by the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac.

The specific song that led me to dig a little tonight is “Walkin’ Blues”. A Facebook friend posted an Eric Clapton recording of that song, which I happen to have in my CD collection, but I searched for another and found this … by a duo I had hoped to see at a local blues festival last Saturday (I was unable to go).



More info on Robert Johnson, if you’re interested:
Robert Johnson Foundation 
General Info 

1 comment:

elizinashe said...

I love the robert johnson story...'sold his soul to the devil' if I remember correctly. died mysteriously...too bad you didn't see susan. saw her twice at the orange peel. super show!