Robert Johnson

The legendary "King of the Delta Blues", Robert Johnson is one of the most revered and mythologised musicians in rock history. Born in Hazelhurst, Mississippi in 1911, Johnson was a freight-jumping, rambling, harmonica player and bumbling guitarist until he disappeared for a short while and returned with an incredible new guitar technique. The fable has it that Johnson went to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in return for his new skills - and the bluesman always played up to the image, creating the persona of a lonesome, troubled drifter with "hellhounds on his trail". The 29 songs that he recorded between 1936 and 1937 sold very few copies at the time, but went on to have a huge influence on the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and almost every blues guitarist since. His tracks Love In Vain, Cross Road Blues, Sweet Home Chicago and Hellhound On My Trail were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have become cornerstones of rock'n'roll; but his death remains an enduring mystery. Accounts differ wildly, but according to folklore Johnson died aged 27 after being poisoned by the husband of a woman he was flirting with and was last seen convulsing and howling at the moon.

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Stations Featuring Robert Johnson

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