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Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

22 articles

Audio interviews

Billy Gibbons on Robert Johnson (1990)

Interview by Tony Scherman, Rock's Backpages audio, Fall 1990

The ZZ Topper talks about his enduring love for bluesman Robert Johnson: on first hearing Columbia's 1961 release King of the Delta Blues Singers; the dark impact of his music; the aspects of mystery surrounding Johnson; his favourite songs; Johnson's superb technique and delivery; the "pact with the Devil" myth, and being given dirt from that crossroads; the newly discovered photograph of Johnson, and his hands; his impact on ZZ Top, and the blues psychogeography of the Mississippi Delta.

File format: mp3; file size: 32.9mb, interview length: 34' 18" sound quality: ** (phoner)

List of articles in the library

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Robert Johnson: King Of The Delta Blues Singers

Review by Max Jones, Melody Maker, 24 September 1966

'Crossroads Blues'; 'Terraplane Blues'; 'Come On In My Kitchen'; 'Waltzing Blues'; 'Last Fair Deal Come Down'; '32-20 Blues'; 'Kindhearted Woman Blues'; 'If I Had Possession ...

Robert Johnson: King Of The Delta Blues Singers, Vol II (CBS 64102)

Review by Jerry Gilbert, Sounds, 31 October 1970

THE LEGENDARY Robert Johnson showed up at the ARC Field Studios five times between November 1936 and June 1937, cutting a mere 29 sides in ...

Unravelling the Legend of Robert Johnson

Retrospective by Jerry Gilbert, Sounds, 19 June 1971

JERRY GILBERT looks at Robert Johnson, greatest of the Delta bluesmen ...

The Voice Squad

Overview by Barney Hoskyns, New Musical Express, 12 January 1985

From the raw to the pure, from the sublime to the meticulous — BARNEY HOSKYNS sings the praises of 24 of music's most glorious voices. ...

Robert Johnson: Demons on the Delta

Retrospective by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, 14 August 1988

Standing at the crossroadsI tried to flag a rideNobody seemed to know meEverybody passed me by.– 'Crossroads Blues' by Robert Johnson ...

Peter Guralnick: Searching For Robert Johnson

Book Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Q, September 1990

THE POWERFUL FASCINATION which the legend of Robert Johnson still exerts over virtually all blues fans is derived, in almost equal proportion, from his genius ...

Black Rock & Roll

Essay by RJ Smith, L.A. Weekly, 4 October 1990

RJ Smith on Living Colour and pop's buried history ...

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings

Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Q, December 1990

And the days keeps on worryin' me There's a hellhound on my trail ...

The Devil's Work: The plundering of Robert Johnson

Special Feature by Robert Gordon, L.A. Weekly, 4 July 1991

THE SUN did not shine but it was hot as hell the day a memorial stone was unveiled for bluesman Robert Johnson near a country ...

Demythologizing Robert Johnson: Chipping Away at the Myths That Encrust a Blues Legend

Essay by Tony Scherman, The New York Times, 20 September 1998

ALTHOUGH THE great blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson died 60 years ago, swallowed up at 27 by the rural Mississippi demiworld of juke joints ...

Turning Points: Robert Johnson

Retrospective by Charles Shaar Murray, Daily Telegraph, November 1999

THE LEGEND OF Robert Johnson was a long time in the building, and it was forged by the fusion of his brilliance and his obscurity. ...

The 10 Greatest Publicity Stunts

Comment by Ben Thompson, Observer Music Monthly, September 2003

Pop music has always lived off hype and spin — and often no good has come of it. But certain stunts are so outrageous or ...

Elijah Wald: Escaping the Delta - Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues

Book Review by Anthony Heilbut, Los Angeles Times Book Review, January 2004

WHOSE BLUES is it anyway? On his first trip to the Mississippi Delta, Elijah Wald found himself performing a Robert Johnson song at the Mt. ...

Elijah Wald: Escaping The Delta; Tim Brooks: Lost Sounds; Ned Sublette: Cuba And Its Music

Book Review by Eric Weisbard, The New York Times Book Review, 31 October 2004

THE IMAGE OF the bluesman Robert Johnson standing at a crossroads in the Mississippi Delta, selling his soul to play guitar as though he had ...

Travelling Riverside Blues (Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Book Excerpt by Graham Reid, Random House, 2005

Travelling Riverside Blues is a chapter in Graham Reid's Postcards From Elsewhere collection of travel stories (Random House) and is available through his website: ...

The Death of Robert Johnson

Book Excerpt by Tom Graves, DeMers Books, October 2008

Excerpt from the book Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson (DeMers Books) ...

The Very Last Fair Deal Gone Down? A preview of the "ultimate" Robert Johnson reissue package

Review by Tony Burke, Blues & Rhythm, May 2011

ONE HUNDRED years ago, on 8th May, 1911, Robert Johnson was born – so expect to read a lot about Po' Bob, especially in the ...

Robert Johnson: The Centennial Collection

Review by Andy Gill, The Word, June 2011

Robert Johnson used a variety of tricks to hide his remarkable technique from copyists, even dancing while he played. ...

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings – The Centennial Collection

Review by Tony Burke, Blues & Rhythm, October 2011

THIS IS THE complete Robert Johnson on one double CD – the lot, all 42 Robert Johnson recordings – including all thirteen alternate takes plus ...

Richard Russell: Rich Pickings

Interview by Jamie Atkins, Record Collector, March 2018

As Richard Russell's collaborative album, Everything Is Recorded, is released, RC's Jamie Atkins meets him to talk about the recording and the music that led ...

Gayle Dean Wardlow and Bruce Conforth: Up Jumped The Devil – The Real Life of Robert Johnson (Chicago Review Press)

Book Review by Tony Burke, Morning Star, May 2019

THOUGH HE only made 40 recordings, US blues artist Robert Johnson's legacy has endured for over eight decades and his songs are now part of ...


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