The life & legacy of the original Blues legend, Robert Johnson

Posted by

Robert Johnson was an American blues singer and musician who is considered one of the most influential blues artists of all time. His unique style of playing and singing influenced many other artists, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Eric Clapton.

Heritage Is the Music of Life's...
Heritage Is the Music of Life's Dance

This blog covers the life and legacy of Robert Johnson, as well as his impact on the world of music. So read on to learn more about the man who changed the blues forever.

The Early Years

Johnson was born in Hazelhurst, Mississippi in 1911. He began playing the guitar at a young age and developed his own unique style of playing. He later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he recorded his first songs in 1936. These recordings were released posthumously as “The Complete Recordings.”

Johnson died in 1938 at the age of 27, under mysterious circumstances. Many theories abound as to how he died, but the most likely explanation is that he was poisoned by a jealous husband.

Despite his short life, Johnson left a lasting legacy and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of Mississippi Delta Blues music.

Deal with the Devil

One can’t bring up Johnson’s same without mentioning the legend of how he got his skill. The story goes that Johnson met with the devil at a crossroads, and in exchange for his soul, the devil tuned Johnson’s guitar and gave him the skills to become a master musician. 

Interestingly, it’s been said that Johnson’s skills seemingly came out of nowhere. He wasn’t particularly skilled when he first started playing guitar, but after that fateful meeting at the crossroads, he suddenly became a virtuoso.

Of course, whether or not this story is true is up for debate. But what isn’t up for debate is Johnson’s legacy as one of the most important and influential blues musicians of all time.

His unique style and mastery of the guitar continue to inspire musicians today, and his songs have become standards in the blues canon.

It’s worth noting that the story about making a deal with the devil has been repeated so many times that it is hard to know where it truly started. But what is certain is that Johnson was an incredible guitarist and singer, and his music has influenced generations of musicians.

Johnson only recorded 29 songs in his lifetime, but those songs have had a lasting impact on blues and rock music. Some of his most notable hits include “Cross Road Blues,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” and “Love in Vain.”

Lasting Legacy

Robert Johnson’s influence on music is immeasurable. He is considered by many to be the father of the blues, and his impact can still be felt today.

His style was unique and ahead of its time, blending elements of Delta blues with a more modern sound. He was also a master of creating catchy hooks and unforgettable melodies.

What’s more, his songs have been covered by some of the biggest names in music, including Clapton, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. His music has also been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials. Even if you’ve never heard of Robert Johnson, chances are you’ve heard his music.

While he may be gone, Robert Johnson’s music will live on forever. His influence can still be heard in the music of today, and his legacy will continue to inspire musicians for generations to come.

Summary

Johnson’s incredible life story is one of rags to riches, heartbreak, and triumph. He went from a sharecropper’s son to one of the most influential musicians of his time. While his life was short-lived, there’s no denying that his legacy has lived on for generations—and will likely continue to do so for many years to come.