Robert Johnson

robert johnson

A photo booth portrait of the blues musician Robert Johnson. It was taken around 1930 and is one of two confirmed photographs of him. Credit…© 1986 Delta Haze Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

It was in… popular juke joints — segregated stores or private houses that doubled, after hours, as recreational places — that his now legendary music career began… The young musician had trained on a diddley bow — one or more strings nailed taut to the side of a barn…

…The guitar playing on Johnson’s recordings was unusually complex for its time. Most early Delta blues musicians played simple guitar figures that harmonized with their voices. But Johnson, imitating the boogie-woogie style of piano playing, used his guitar to play rhythm, bass and slide simultaneously, all while singing.

(Reggie Ugwu, “Overlooked No More: Robert Johnson, Bluesman Whose Life Was a Riddle,” NYTimes, 9-25-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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