Robert Johnson Biography

Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911 in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. He learned to play the harmonica and the jew's harp at an early age. He greatly admired the performances of Eddie "Son" House and took to following him and Willie Brown to the "jook" joints in Robinsonville. Although adept at the harmonica and jew's harp, his own guitar work left much to be desired. Son House asserts that his guitar playing made, "Such another racket you never heard! It made people mad, you know."

Robert left Robinsonville in 1931 and became friends with Ike Zinnerman a guitarist of amazing abilities who taught him many of his techniques. By the time he returned to Robinsonville he had became an extraordinary guitarist. Son House declared that the only way he could have become so good, in such a short time, was to have sold his soul to the devil...and thus a blues legend was born. It was now said that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for his musical talents. He died under questionable circumstances in 1938.

Many famous blues and rock artists have covered his songs, from Rory Gallagher to Led Zeppelin, to the legendendary bluesmen Son House and Muddy Waters. In just two studio sessions in 1936 and 1937 he provided the world with a wealth of blues that surpasses anything heard since.

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