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Steven Johnson, Grandson of Robert Johnson, Interview –

Few artists have had as great an impact on the history of popular music with such a relatively small body of recorded work as Robert Johnson. The famed Delta bluesman recorded just 29 songs over two years before his life was cut short in August 1938 under dubious circumstances. Nevertheless, Johnson’s music continues to resonate in both the worlds of blues and rock. Artists like Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Peter Green have all paid homage to the King of the Delta Blues Singers, with Clapton calling him “the most important blues singer that ever lived.”

One of the foremost authorities on Robert Johnson is his grandson, Steven Johnson, who works closely with the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation to preserve his grandfather’s legacy through the provision of art education, competitions and scholarships. Steven Johnson was kind enough to sit down with in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s birth on May 8.

Read Part 1 of the interview

Read Part 2 of the interview

Robert Johnson Featured On NPR Weekend Edition

Robert Johnson was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition today, and audio from their broadcast is available below. In an accompanying article, NPR wrote:

Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Johnson. Although he recorded just 29 songs, the bluesman had a huge influence on guitarists such as Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. Johnson is one of the most studied of all country blues musicians, and he’s been the subject of many books, films and essays. But the mythology surrounding his life just won’t go away.

If you know anything about Johnson, chances are it’s the story that he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for his musical talent. That legend reached a mainstream audience with the 1986 movie Crossroads, starring Joe Seneca and Ralph Macchio.

But according to folklorist Barry Lee Pearson, it didn’t happen.


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Robert Johnson he Complete Original Masters

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Recreated in the historical look and feel of the twelve 10″ 78rpm discs that originally carried Robert Johnson’s music into the world in 1936 and 1937 (only playing at 45rpm), this Limited Edition collector’s set will be individually numbered to 1000. Housed in an actual 78rpm album book – each “page” being a sleeve holding a single disc – each vinyl disc is outfitted with reproductions of the original record labels. Also included is a unique booklet with new essays telling the updated story of Robert Johnson, photos and more!

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Robert Johnson At 100: Legacy, Legend

Iconic Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson’s life was brief (he died at 27) and his recorded output was modest (just 29 songs), but his legacy looms larger than ever in the centennial year of his birth.

In anticipation of the May 8 milestone, the music world is honoring the man behind a powerful legend — Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for guitar-playing prowess — with festivals, tribute records and expansive repackaging of his recordings.