Robert Johnson (* 8. May 1911 in Hazlehurst, Mississippi; † 16. August 1938 in Three Forks, Mississippi) is considered as one of the most influential guitarists, singers and Songschreiber in the history of the Blues. It becomes also the “King OF the Delta Blues “mentioned, in allusion on the Mississippi delta.
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the life by Robert Johnson
RobertJohnson was born 1911 as a son of Julia Ann Dodds, born of major, and Noah Johnson in Hazlehurst. Its nut/mother was married and returned 1914 together with their not-conjugal son to Memphis (threshing floor lake) to its married man Charles Dodds, which she left later some time again,in order to marry Willie “Dusty” Willies. Together with its nut/mother and its stepfather Robert drew 1918 after Robinsonville, about 30 kilometers far away from Memphis, where he went then until 1927 also to the school. After its nut/mother explained to him, who his real father was, changedRobert its surname in Johnson. Robert Johnson played already as a dte rodent harmonica and little guitar.
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RK: 1911 $left1 text: 8. May 1911 Robert Johnson born RK: 1914 $left1 text: 1914 removal after Memphis (threshing floor lake)RK: 1918 $left1 text: 1918 removal after Robinsonville RK: 1929 $left1 text: 1929 meeting with Son House, wedding RK: 1930 $left1 text: 1930 Virginia dies RK: 1931 $left1 text: 1931 wedding with Calletta Craft RK: 1934 $left1 text: 1934 appearance in Helena (Arkansas) RK: 1936 $left1 text: 1936 1. Disk admission RK: 1937 $left1 text: 1937 2. Disk admission RK: 1938 $left1text: 18. August 1938 Robert Johnson dies RK: 1941 $left1 text: 1941 “Revival” the Songs by Robert Lockwood
1929 became acquainted with Robert Johnson the Bluesmusiker Charlie Patton and Son House , with which he could improve its guitar play substantial. In the same year he married Virginia Travis. 1930 diedits wife however in the child bed and also the child did not survive. Later its co-operation began some months with Willie Brown, which it already could do from its youth. It went however soon to it on the search for its father for Hazlehurst and learned on thisJourney its second wife Caletta “Callie” Craft know, which he married 1931. 1932 became acquainted with Johnson the Bluesmusiker Ike Carpenter as well as a number of further musicians. In the course of the following years Robert Johnson became to an in demand musician for samstagabendliche meetings in Mississippi, turned then howeverback after Robinsonville.
When Robert Johnsons guitar play had strongly improved within short time, one told oneself, he had sold his soul to the devil and had been instructed by this in response into the secrets of the guitar play. This legend received still additional food throughthe Johnson Song ME and the Devil Blues. This statement goes back on an expression from Son House, after Johnson was again back in Robinsonville and played its old friends on the guitar.
1934 came Robert Johnson on its meanwhile vagabondful journeys into the city Helena in Arkansas and met there a row at that time already well-known Bluesmusiker. With its guitar play it impressed the musicians Sonny Boy Williamson II. here., Robert Nighthawk, Howlin' wolf as well as Memphis Slim. 1936 came it then to the first photographs for those American record company. Particularly the Terraplane Blues sold itself so well that Johnson 1937 could take its second photograph sequence.
Robert Johnson took up only 29 Songs in altogether 41 photographs in these two sessions. He found its death with an appearance in the Juke Jointin Three Forks by a poisoned bottle Whiskey. Those came from the owner of the shop, which was jealous on the musician flirting in music with its wife. According to other rumors it had however actually an affair with the woman of the owner of bar. Robert Johnson was buried probablyon a small cemetery in the place, the exact burial place is however unknown. In Morgan town center (Mississippi) is Gedenkstein at Robert Johnson with the following label:
- Robert Johnson. “King OF the delta Blues Singers.” His music struck A Chord that continues ton resonate.His Blues adressed generation he would more never know and larva Poetry OF his vision and Fears.
Photographs by Robert Johnson
(*) of this Songs exist to alternative versions.
the music of Robert Johnson
the merit/service of Johnson lay particularly in the treatment of the early Bluesmusik of Son House and Skip James (delta Blues) in a newStyle, which was then taken up by musicians such as Muddy Waters or Elmore James. Differently than the Songs of its contemporaries its Songs were characterised by an individualism, which does not admit before was - each Song sounds differently and is self-contained.
A further characteristicin Johnsons works it exists in the fact that its songs do not sound themselves, as if singers and guitarist are a person, since he partly moved with singing and guitar play in different rhythms. Also its special voice, which sounds jauchzend nearly crying or, is for at that timeBlues music atypical and makes its songs unmistakable. Its guitar play was always linked with the singing, only in his all first taken up Song child Hearted Woman Blues played it at the beginning of the piece a short guitar-solo. In the standard tendency of the guitar it preferred the kinds of clay/tone A andE, in open tendencies (open D-tendency, open G-tendency), which also open tunings is called, used it usually G and C. He held the respective dominant factor or Subdominante thereby either with a stretched finger or with a glass or a metal cylinder, which he overinverted a finger of the left hand (Bottleneck - technology).
Like many Bluesmusiker of its time it processed everyday life occurences in its Songs above all; many its Songs act of its journeys, for instance the well-known Walkin' Blues, in which it its training as a guitarist with Son Housereflected, by in a change between the calm and gel honouring seed pupil play and up-SAE-triumphing own style varied. Further Songs of this topic is for instance the Travelling Riverside Blues and I´m A steady rollin' one. A further factor of influence for its texts the women were natural(Child Hearted Woman Blues, Little Queen OF Spades) and the money (Sweet Home Chicago), in addition, a hand-held weapon (32-20 Blues) and an automobile (Terraplane Blues after the Hudson Terraplane) belonged to the inspirations.
the spreading of its Songs began only after its death, on the one hand by the producer John Hammond, on the other hand by other Bluessänger such as Robert Lockwood, which copied its Songs. Still during its active time inspired Johnson musician such as Howlin' wolf, Sonny BoyWilliamson II., Robert Nighthawk and Memphis Slim. In the course of the following years Johnson became to the usually-copied and most-discussed Bluesmusiker. When John Hammond wanted to win in the year 1938 Robert Johnson for its concert row From of mirror-image ritual ton Swing, it had to experience however that these alreadyhad deceased.
Thereupon music and person Robert Johnsons came for decades into oblivion. Its exclusively on shellac plates published photographs were presented not again and were promoted thereby to extremely rare pieces of collecting tank. For originals of collecting tanks more than 3,000 dollar is paid. A copy of the CROSS RoadBlues even obtained a price of 12,000 dollar. Only the again-awaking interest of the American public in the traditional Folk and Blues, which were released not least by the publication of Harry Smiths Anthology OF American Folk music in the year 1952, brought music like the delta to Bluesat all again into the consciousness of the public.
The publication of some Johnson Songs on the album King OF the delta Blues Singers (Columbia) in the year 1961 led finally to the Wiederentdeckung of the music of Robert Johnson. The fact that for the composition of the 16 on this plate publishedPieces not only archives by Columbia but also the private collections of five Bluesliebhabern to be consulted had, clarify the rarity and unknownness of Robert Johnsons photographs to the time at that time. This Songs took up a set of Bluesbands and rock musicians to its repertoire, and so differentMusicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, John Fogerty and Bob Dylan indicate this Songs as an important inspiration. When Columbia published a collection of the complete photographs Robert Johnsons in the year 1990, became from this album unexpectedlymore sells than 1.000.000 copies.
the myth Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson is considered as one of the largest icons of the popular American culture. Its meaning for the Blues is comparable with the meaning Hank Williams for the Country music or the Charlie Parkers for thatDecay jazz.
Its person is umrankt of legends, which tower above actual humans behind it by far. Not only history, it has to become pawned its soul to the devil around a better guitarist, also the circumstances of its death by force contributes to it. ThoseFact that Johnson in its texts speaks frequently of the devil, lends additionally food to these legends.
Over decades Robert Johnson was practically forgotten in the public. Surely Johnson was some black Bluesmusikern well-known, its music is however most likely not over Schallplattenaufnahmen but at best from “eardelivered to ear ". In the white, American population Johnson with the exception of some fewer Bluesliebhaber and shellac disk collecting tanks was completely unknown. The true circumstances of its life and death became therefore only after its Wiederentdeckung in the process of the Folk and Blues Revivals in the year 1961,thus more, reconstructs than 20 years after his death.
Im Zuge dieser Renaissance des Blues - bei einem allerdings vor allem weißen Publikum - erlebten auch zahlreiche andere, vergessene, schwarze Bluesmusiker wie Son House oder Mississippi John Hurtein Comeback. There the Blues one primarilyverbally conveyed tradition has, is here the legend formation door and gate opened, a fact, which contributes surely in not inconsiderable way to the fascination of the Blues generally and such a legendary shape such as Robert Johnson in the special.
The exact place of its grave is until todaydisputed. Only altogether two photos exist, it is occupied by which that they actually represent Robert Johnson.
- The Complete Recordings (1990, Sony/Legacy 46222 2 CD)
- King OF the delta Blues Singers (1961, Columbia)
- The Complete Recordings (1990, Columbia)
- The root OFRobert Johnson (Yazoo)
- Masters OF the delta Blues (Yazoo)
- walter Mosley, Dietlind emperor: Mississippi Blues. Goldmann, 2000, ISBN 3442445469
- Peter Guralnic: Robert Johnson, Crossroads. Hannibal group of publishing houses COOK, 1995, ISBN 3854451059
- Werner Gissing: Mississippi delta Blues: Forms and texts by RobertJohnson (1911-1938). Academic pressure and. Publishing house Dr. Paul Struzl, 1986, ISBN 3201013145
Web on the left of
| | * Literature of and over Robert Johnson in the catalog of the DDB
|This article was taken up to the list of exzellenter articles.|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||of US-American Bluesmusiker|
|DATE OF BIRTH||8. May 1911|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Hazlehurst, Mississippi|
|DYING DATE||16. August 1938|
|DYING PLACE||Three Forks, Mississippi|