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Johnson, Robert

Robert Johnson

Singer, guitarist, composer

For the Record

Columbia Compilation Renewed Interest

Compositions Became Blues Standards

Rudimentary Recordings Captured Magic

Mysteries of His Life Have Made Johnson a Legend

Sold Soul to the Devil in Crossroads Bargain

Selected discography

Sources

Robert Johnson, the legendary Mississippi Delta blues singer, was a real person; that much is known. The mystery that is his life and art occurred between such well-defined events as his birth in 1911, the revelation of his remarkable musical skills around 1931, two recording sessions in 1936 and 1937, and his death in 1938. When the first album of his recordings was released in 1961 very little was known about Robert Johnson. By the time Columbia Records released Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings in 1990 more was known, but the mystery remained.

Like other early Delta blues singers, Robert Johnson was part and parcel of an oral tradition that began with a mixture of field hollers, chants, fiddle tunes, and religious music and ended up as the blues. The Mississippi Delta, 200 miles of fertile lowlands stretching from Memphis, Tennessee, in the north to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the south, was one of the primary locales in which the blues originated and developed. Johnson is critically recognized as the culmination of the Delta blues tradition, as exemplified by Delta blues artists Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James, and others. Characteristically, Delta blues are sung by a single artist playing an acoustic guitar, often using a bottleneck or similar instrument on the frets to achieve a distinctive sound. The next generation of musiciansand those who outlived Johnsonmay have grown up in the Delta, but most left it to go north and sing the city blues of Chicago. Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf are two prominent Chicago bluesmen, both originally from the Delta, who knew Robert Johnson and were heavily influenced by him.

Waters, born McKinley Morganfield, grew up in the Delta, and though he never actually met Robert Johnson, his single encounter with him has been widely quoted. As Waters described the meeting in American Visions, among other sources, It was in Friars Point, and this guy had a lot of people standin around him. He coulda been Robert, they said it was Robert. I stopped and peeked over, and then I left. He was a dangerous man. Knowledge of Johnson, like that of his music, has come largely through recollections of musicians and others who knew him. Two of the best sources of information have been legendary Delta singer Son House, himself Johnsons elder, and Johnny Shines, a contemporary who met Johnson in 1935 and traveled with him for a while. Additional information has been uncovered by researchers, who have helped to establish Johnsons birth date as May 8, 1911. Some of the circumstances of Johnsons death particularly remain unclear; there is even a dispute over the true site of his grave.

For the Record

Born May 8, 1911, near Hazlehurst, MS; son of Julia Majors Dodds and Noah Johnson (a plantation worker); died of probable poisoning August 16, 1938, near Greenwood, MS; believed buried in an unmarked grave at Mt. Zion Church, near Morgan City, MS, new evidence indicates burial site as Payne Chapel Memorial Baptist Church, near Quito, MS. Married twice.

Itinerant blues singer and guitarist, recording artist, composer. Traveled throughout the South and as far north as Detroit and Chicago, playing in small clubsjuke jointsand at informal gatherings. Disappeared in 1930, returned with a guitar and uncanny musical prowess. Recorded 16 songs, including Kind Hearted Woman, I Believe Ill Dust My Broom, Sweet Home Chicago, and Terraplane Blues, for the American Record Company (ARC), November, 1936; recorded 13 songs for ARC, June, 1937.

Columbia Compilation Renewed Interest

Fortunately, the recordings remain and the issuance of Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings has refocused attention on the life and artistry of this legendary bluesman. Throughout his career and posthumous fame, recordings have played an important role in Johnsons art and its influence on younger musicians. Johnson himself was probably influenced by early blues artists like Skip James, who was recorded in i 931, the year that Johnson amazed his elders with his mastery of the guitar. Jamess eerie, peculiarly unique style appears throughout Johnsons recordings, most notably in 32-20 Blues, which he adapted from Jamess 22-20 Blues.

Johnson first came to the attention of modern musicians, notably the rock generation of the 1960s, with the release of King of the Delta Blues Singers in 1961. Due to the country blues revival of the time, older musicians who had sung as young men in the 1930s began to enjoy a second career and renewed popularity among hip, new audiences. Johnsons album contained selections from his 1936 and 1937 recording sessions, some of them previously unreleased. The album revealed a tremendous talent on vocals and guitar as well as an amazing ability in the lyrics of Johnsons self-composed blues. The album challenged younger rock musicians and showed them what the blues were all about. Johnsons first album was so popular that it was reissued in 1969; a second followed in 1970. Bob Dylan has written that Johnson was one of two musiciansthe other being Woodie Guthriewho most influenced him. Among the Robert Johnson songs covered by rock musicians in the 1960s and later were Love in Vain and Stop Breakin Downrecorded by the Rolling Stonesand Crossroad Bluesrecorded by Eric Clapton with Cream.

Compositions Became Blues Standards

Many of Johnsons compositions had also become blues standards by the 1960s, thanks to Chicago blues artists Waters and Elmore James. In 1951 Elmore James recorded Johnsons Dust My Broom, making it a national hit. Sweet Home Chicago, another Johnson composition, has been played and recorded by countless Chicago bluesmen. As a traveling musician who had crisscrossed the Delta region many times and gone as far north as Detroit and Chicago in the previous six years, Johnson had ample opportunity to refine his lyrics, judging their popularity and impact by his audiences reactions. A traveling musician like Johnson would have played to a variety of gatherings, from Saturday night juke joint crowds to friendly groups gathered for outdoor picnics. As Johnny Shines recalled, Robert Johnson was a rambling man who was ready to hop a freight at the drop of a hat. He was a natural rambler, Shines told Pete Welding, as recorded in the Down Beat Music Yearbook. His home was where his hat was, and even then lots of times he didnt know where that was. We used to travel all over used to catch freights everywhere. Played for dances, in taverns, on sidewalks.

While these types of playing conditions provided Johnson with a means of refining his songs, it was the discipline of the three-minute 78 rpm record that drove him to hone them into a more commericial form. He crafted his songs with a self-conscious artistry; he sang of women, drinking, traveling, and the devil. His lyrics contain haunting metaphors and vivid personifications. Rather than joining interchangeable floating verses, as many other Delta bluesmen did, Johnson made each song a statement, with intentionally developed themes. As Greil Marcus noted in the New York Times, Johnsons songs have an immediacy which is unmatched in the blues, and an impulse toward drama.

Johnson recorded 29 songs for the American Record Company, which eventually became part of the Columbia Broadcasting System. His complete recorded canon includes 29 masters, plus 12 surviving alternate takes, all recorded at two ARC sessions held in San Antonio and Dallas. Johnson got started recording the way many other Delta musicians didby auditioning. H. C. Speir was a white ARC talent scout who ran a music store in Jackson, Mississippi. He had been acting as a talent scout for seven years and was responsible for getting blues artists Patton, House, Skip James, Tommy Johnson, and others into the recording studio. Speir passed Robert Johnson on to Ernie Oertle, another ARC talent scout and salesman in the mid-South, who offered to take him to San Antonio to record in November of 1936.

Rudimentary Recordings Captured Magic

Johnsons first session in San Antonio lasted three days. Sixteen songs were recorded in the Gunter Hotel, where ARC had set up equipment to record a number of musical acts, ranging from the Chuck Wagon Gang to groups of Mexican musicians. Kind Hearted Woman was the first song recorded. Also captured in San Antonio were I Believe Ill Dust My Broom and Sweet Home Chicago, both of which became post-war blues standards. Terraplane Blues, known for its metaphor-ic lyrics, became a regional hit and Johnsons signature song. Most of the selections were released on Vocalion 78s, but three songs and several interesting alternate takes remained unissued until they appeared on the Columbia albums. Six months later, in June of 1937, Johnson was called back to record. The two-day session took place in a Dallas warehouse where, once again, ARC had set up its recording equipment to capture many different acts. This time 13 songs were recorded and 10 were released during the following year.

While Johnsons professional recording career can be measured in months, his musical legacy has survived more than 50 years and is likely to become timeless. Critics have written a great deal about his genius, his unusual vocal style, his innovative guitar work, and the sensibility of his lyrics. As Peter Guralnick wrote in Searching for Robert Johnson, There is no end of quoting and no end of reading into the lyrics, but unlike other equally eloquent blues, this is not random folk art, hit or miss, but rather carefully selected and honed detail, carefully considered and achieved effect.

Mysteries of His Life Have Made Johnson a Legend

Like many of his songs, which help reveal the kind of life he led, Robert Johnsons life itself has had a considered and achieved effect, not only on his contemporaries, but also on subsequent generations of musicians. During his life, tales were circulated about him, explaining the unknown aspects of his life; and when he was murdered in 1938, at least three versions were given credibilitythat he was stabbed to death by a jealous husband, stabbed by a woman, or poisoned by parties unknown. Subsequent research, based on eyewitness accounts, indicates that he was poisoned by a jealous husband. In August of 1938 Johnson and Honeyboy Edwards were playing at a house party in Three Forks, near Greenwood, Mississippi. Johnson became too familiar with the companion of the man who had hired him to play, and he drank some poisoned whiskey and died three days later. Welding, quoting Shiness account in the Down Beat Music Yearbook, related that by the time the story reached Shines, who had left Johnson to live with his own family in Memphis, Johnson had been poisoned by one of those women who really didnt care for him at all. And Robert was almost always surrounded by that kind seems like they just sought him out. And I heard that it was something to do with the black arts. Before he died, it was said, Robert was crawling along the ground on all fours, barking and snapping like a mad beast. Thats what the poison done to him.

Sold Soul to the Devil in Crossroads Bargain

Shiness reference to the black arts evokes another myth about Johnson: namely, that he sold his soul to the devil in order to achieve mastery over the guitar. The myth grew in response to an absence of information about how Johnson had learned to play the guitar so well. As a teenager he had had a reputation among older musicians, like House and Willie Brown, for being a pest who would grab their instruments and try to play them. House had to tell him, You shouldnt do that, Robert. Youre worrying the people. You cant play, and youre just keeping up a lot of noise with it. As House recalled for Welding in the Down Beat Music Yearbook, Johnson ran away from home for about six monthsthough some sources say his absence spanned nearly two yearswhen his stepfather wanted him to work in the fields with him. More reliable sources attribute Johnsons 1930 departure and extended absence from Northern Mississippi to the death of his first wife and subsequent remarriage. When Johnson returned he had his own guitar. Robert Jr. Lockwood and a subsequently discovered photograph confirm that Johnsons guitar of choice was a Gibson Kalamazoo. Johnson demonstrated such a great ability upon his return homemost likely the fruits of bluesman Ike Zinnermans tutelagethat House believed he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for learning to play like that.

Although Johnson never confirmed the story, another Delta blues musician, Tommy Johnson, once told his brother the same tale about going down to the crossroads to meet the devil at midnight. Folk researchers draw a parallel between the devil in the story and the African Yoruba god, Legba, the trickster, whose favorite haunt was a crossroads. It seems Johnson knew the life he sang about quite well, and his songs are rife with devil imagery. As if hiding some secret talent, he would often turn his back when he felt the eyes of another musician were watching him too closely. All of which adds to the myth, but takes nothing away from the music of the shadowy blues artist who came to be known as the King of the Delta Blues Singers.

Selected discography

King of the Delta Blues Singers, Columbia, 1961.

King of the Delta Blues Singers: Volume 2, Columbia, 1970.

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings, Columbia, 1990.

Sources

Books

Charters, Samuel, The Bluesmen, Oak Publications, 1967.

Guralnick, Peter, Searching for Robert Johnson, Dutton, 1989.

Marcus, Greil, Mystery Train, Dutton, 1975.

Palmer, Robert, Deep Blues, Viking, 1981.

Periodicals

American Visions, June 1988.

Chicago Tribune, January 5, 1990.

Down Beat Music Yearbook, 1966.

Esquire, October 1990.

Living Blues, No. 94, 1990.

Musician, January 1991.

Nation, October 8, 1990.

New York Times, November 22, 1970.

Record Research, No. 43, May 1963.

Rolling Stone, October 18, 1990.

Wilson Library Bulletin, November 1975.

Additional information provided by Robert Johnson historian Stephen C. LaVere.

David Bianco

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Johnson, Robert 1911–1938

Robert Johnson 19111938

Singer, guitarist, composer

At a Glance

Compositions Became Blues Standards

Rudimentary Recordings Captured Magic

Mysteries of His Life Have Made Johnson a Legend

Sold Soul to the Devil in Crossroads Bargain

Selected discography

Sources

More than half a century after his death, Robert Johnson, the legendary Mississippi Delta blues singer, remains an enigma. A provocative and influential figure in the blues field, Johnson revealed his remarkable musical skills around the age of 20 in 1931. He completed only two recording sessionsone in 1936 and the other in 1937prior to his untimely death in 1938. Very little was known about Johnson when his first album was released in 1961. By the time Columbia Records released Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings in 1990, slightly more information had come to light, but the mystery endures.

Like that of other early Delta blues singers, the music of Robert Johnson arose from an oral tradition that began with a mixture of field hollers, chants, fiddle tunes, and religious music and ended up as the blues. The Mississippi Deltatwo hundred miles of fertile lowlands stretching from Memphis, Tennessee in the north to Vicksburg, Mississippi in the southwas one of the primary locales in which the blues originated and developed. Johnsons sound is critically recognized as the culmination of the Delta blues tradition, as exemplified by other Delta blues artists such as Charley Patton, Son House, and Skip James. Typically, Delta blues are sung by a single artist playing an acoustic guitar, often using a bottleneck or similar instrument on the frets to achieve a distinctive sound. The next generation of musiciansand those who out-lived Johnsonmay have grown up in the Delta, but most left it as adults to go north and sing the city blues of Chicago. Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf, two prominent Chicago bluesmen, have their roots in the Delta: both knew Robert Johnson and were heavily influenced by him.

Knowledge of Johnson, like that of his music, has come largely through recollections of musicians and others who knew him. Two of the best sources of information have been legendary Delta singer Son House, himself Johnsons elder, and Johnny Shines, a contemporary who met Johnson in 1935 and traveled with him for a while. Additional information has been uncovered by researchers, who have helped to establish Johnsons birth date as May 8, 1911. Some of the circumstances of Johnsons death remain particularly unclear; there is even a dispute over the true site of his unmarked grave.

Fortunately, the recordings remain, and the 1990 issuance

At a Glance

Born May 8, 1911, near Hazlehurst, MS; son of Julia Majors Dodds and Noah Johnson (a plantation worker); died of probable poisoning, August 16, 1938, near Greenwood, MS; believed buried in an unmarked grave at Mt Zion Church, near Morgan City, MS; new evidence indicates burial site as Payne Chapel Memorial Baptist Church, near Quito, MS; married twice.

Itinerant blues singer and guitarist, recording artist, composer. Traveled throughout the South, and as far north as Detroit and Chicago, playing in small clubsjuke jointsand at informal gatherings. Disappeared in 1930 and is believed to have stayed in southern Mississippi for about two years; returned to the northern part of the state with a guitar and uncanny musical prowess. Recorded 16 songs, including Kind Hearted Woman, I Believe Ill Dust My Broom, Sweet Home Chicago, and Terraplane Blues, for the American Record Company (ARC), November, 1936; recorded 13 songs for ARC, June, 1937.

of Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings has refocused attention on the life and artistry of this legendary bluesman. Johnsons posthumous fame and influence on younger musicians stems largely from the power of his recordings. He is said to have been heavily influenced by early blues artists like Skip James, who was recorded in 1931, around the same time that Johnson amazed his elders with his mastery of the guitar. Jamess eerie, distinctive style is reflected throughout Johnsons recordings, most notably in 32-20 Blues, which he adapted from Jamess 22-20 Blues.

Johnson first came to the attention of modern musicians, notably the rock generation of the 1960s, with the release of King of the Delta Blues Singers in 1961. Dueto the country blues revival of the time, older musicians who had sung as young men in the 1930s began to enjoy a second career and renewed popularity among hip, new audiences. Johnsons album contained selections from his 1936 and 1937 recording sessions, some of which had not been previously released. Revealing the artists tremendous talent on vocals and guitar as well as his uncommon flair for lyrical composition, the album challenged younger rock musicians and showed them what the blues were all about. King of the Delta Blues Singers proved so popular that it was reissued in 1969; a second album followed in 1970. Bob Dylan has written that Johnson was one of two musiciansthe other being Woodie Guthriewho most influenced him. Among the Robert Johnson songs covered by rock musicians in the 1960s and later were Love in Vain and Stop Breakin Downrecorded by the Rolling Stonesand Crossroad Bluesrecorded by Eric Clapton with Cream.

Compositions Became Blues Standards

Many of Johnsons compositions had also become blues standards by the 1960s, thanks to Chicago blues artists Waters and Elmore James. In 1951 Elmore James recorded Johnsons I Believe Ill Dust My Broom, making it a national hit Sweet Home Chicago, another Johnson composition, has been played and recorded by countless Chicago bluesmen. As a traveling musician who had crisscrossed the Delta region many times and gone as far north as Detroit and Chicago in the previous six years, Johnson had ample opportunity to refine his lyrics, judging their popularity and impact by his audiences reactions. Johnson played to a variety of gatherings, from Saturday night juke joint crowds to friendly groups gathered for outdoor picnics. As Johnny Shines recalled, Robert Johnson was a rambling man who was ready to hop a freight at the drop of a hat He was a natural rambler, Shines told Pete Welding, as recorded in the Down Beat Music Yearbook. His home was where his hat was, and even then lots of times he didnt know where that was. We used to travel all over used to catch freights everywhere. Played for dances, in taverns, on sidewalks.

While these types of playing conditions provided Johnson with a means of refining his songs, it was the discipline of the three-minute 78 rpm record that drove him to hone them into a more commercial form. He crafted his songs with a self-conscious artistry; he sang of women, drinking, traveling, and the devil. His lyrics contain haunting metaphors and vivid personifications. Rather than joining interchangeable floating verses, as many other Delta blues men did, Johnson made each song a statement, with intentionally developed themes. As Greil Marcus noted in the New York Times, Johnsons songs have an immediacy which is unmatched in the blues, and an impulse toward drama. Johnson recorded 29 songs for the American Record Company (ARC), which eventually became part of the Columbia Broadcasting System. His complete canon of recordings includes 29 masters, plus 12 surviving alternate takes, all recorded at two ARC sessions held in San Antonio and Dallas, Texas.

Johnson got started in the business the way many other Delta musicians didby auditioning. H. C. Speir was a white ARC talent scout who ran a music store in Jackson, Mississippi. He had been acting as a talent scout for seven years and was responsible for getting blues artists Patton, House, Skip James, Tommy Johnson, and others into the recording studio. Speir passed Robert Johnson on to Ernie Oertle, another ARC talent scout and salesman in the mid-South, who offered to take him to San Antonio to record in November of 1936.

Rudimentary Recordings Captured Magic

Johnsons first session in San Antonio lasted three days. Sixteen songs were recorded in the Gunter Hotel, where ARC had set up equipment to record a number of musical acts, ranging from the Chuck Wagon Gang to groups of Mexican musicians. Kind Hearted Woman was the first song recorded. Also captured in San Antonio were I Believe Ill Dust My Broom and Sweet Home Chicago, both of which became post-war blues standards. Terraplane Blues, known for its metaphoric lyrics, became a regional hit and Johnsons signature song. Most of the selections were released on Vocalion 78s, but three songs and several interesting alternate takes remained unissued until they appeared on the Columbia albums. About six months later, in June of 1937, Johnson was called back to record. The two-day session took place in a Dallas warehouse where, once again, ARC had set up its recording equipment to capture many different acts. This time 13 songs were recorded and 10 were released during the following year.

While Johnsons professional recording career can be measured in months, his musical legacy has survived more than 50 years. Critics have written a great deal about his genius, his unusual vocal style, his innovative guitar work, and the sensibility of his lyrics. As Peter Guralnick wrote in Searching for Robert Johnson, There is no end of quoting and no end of reading into the lyrics, but unlike other equally eloquent blues, this is not random folk art, hit or miss, but rather carefully selected and honed detail, carefully considered and achieved effect.

Mysteries of His Life Have Made Johnson a Legend

Robert Johnsons life and music have had a carefully considered and achieved effect on his contemporaries, as well as on subsequent generations of musicians. During his life, Johnson was the subject of considerable controversy and inspired frequent conjecture; when he was murdered in 1938, at least three versions of the tragedy were given credibilitythat he was stabbed to death by a jealous husband, stabbed by a woman, or poisoned by parties unknown. Subsequent research, based on eyewitness accounts, indicates that he was poisoned by a jealous husband.

In August of 1938 Johnson and Honeyboy Edwards were playing at a house party in Three Forks, near Greenwood, Mississippi. Johnson had apparently become too familiar with the companion of the man who had hired him to play. The outraged man allegedly laced Johnsons whiskey with poison. Johnson died three days later. Welding, quoting Shiness account in the Down Beat Music Yearbook, related that the story had changed by the time it reached Shines, who had left Johnson to live with his own family in Memphis: he had heard that Johnson was poisoned by one of those women who really didnt care for him at all. And Robert was almost always surrounded by that kind. Seems like they just sought him out. And I heard that it was something to do with the black arts. Before he died, it was said, Robert was crawling along the ground on all fours, barking and snapping like a mad beast. Thats what the poison done to him.

Sold Soul to the Devil in Crossroads Bargain

Shiness reference to the black arts evokes another myth about Johnson: namely, that he sold his soul to the devil in order to achieve mastery over the guitar. The myth grew in response to an absence of solid information about how he had learned to play the guitar so well. As a teenager Johnson had a reputation among older musicians, like House and Willie Brown, for being a pest who would grab their instruments and try to play them. House had to tell him, You shouldnt do that, Robert. Youre worrying the people. You cant play, and youre just keeping up a lot of noise with it. As House recalled for Welding in the Down Beat Music Yearbook, Johnson ran away from home for about two years when his stepfather wanted him to work in the fields with him. More reliable sources attribute Johnsons 1930 departure and extended absence from northern Mississippi to the death of his first wife and his subsequent remarriage. At any rate, upon his return, Johnson had his own guitar. Robert Jr. Lockwood and a subsequently discovered photograph confirm that Johnsons guitar of choice was a Gibson Kalamazoo. Johnson demonstrated such a great ability after returning home that House believed he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for learning to play like that. More likely, the guitarists prowess was the fruit of guitar teacher Ike Zinnermans labor.

Although Johnson never confirmed the otherworldly story, another Delta blues musician, Tommy Johnson, once told his brother the same tale about going down to the crossroads to meet the devil at midnight. Folk researchers draw a parallel between the devil in the story and the African Yoruba god, Legba, the trickster, whose favorite haunt was a crossroads. It seems Johnson knew the life he sang about: his songs are rife with devil imagery, and some of his actions while performing were apparently a bit peculiar. It has been said, for instance, that he would often turn his back when he felt the eyes of another musician were watching him too closelyas if he needed to hide the secret to his extraordinary talent. All of which adds to the myth, but takes nothing away from the music of the shadowy blues artist who came to be known as the King of the Delta Blues Singers.

Selected discography

King of the Delta Blues Singers, Columbia, 1961.

King of the Delta Blues Singers: Volume 2, Columbia, 1970.

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings, Columbia, 1990.

Sources

Books

Charters, Samuel, The Bluesmen, Oak Publications, 1967.

Guralnick, Peter, Searching for Robert Johnson, Dutton, 1989.

Marcus, Greil, Mystery Train, Dutton, 1975.

Palmer, Robert, Deep Blues, Viking, 1981.

Periodicals

American Visions, June 1988.

Chicago Tribune, January 5, 1990.

Down Beat Music Yearbook, 1966.

Esquire, October 1990.

Living Blues, No. 94, 1990.

Musician, January 1991.

Nation, October 8, 1990.

New York Times, November 22, 1970.

Record Research, No. 43, May 1963.

Rolling Stone, October 18, 1990.

Wilson Library Bulletin, November 1975.

Additional information provided by Robert Johnson historian Stephen C. LaVere.

David Bianco

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"Johnson, Robert 1911–1938." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved September 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/johnson-robert-1911-1938

Johnson, Robert (1676-1735)

Robert Johnson (1676-1735)

South carolina governor

Sources

Early Life. Among his several marks of distinction Robert Johnson served both as a proprietary (17171719) and royal (17311735) governor in South Carolina. His father, Nathaniel Johnson, had served as South Carolinas proprietary governor from 1702 to 1708. Robert was born in England in 1676. As a young child he and his parents went to the Leeward Islands where his father served as governor. After his term Nathaniel moved to South Carolina to develop property he held there. He sent his family back to England expecting to meet them shortly in South Carolina once he had made the necessary preparations. On the familys voyage to England the French intercepted their vessel and held them as prisoners for a year. The childrens mother died while in captivity. Eventually the children were reunited with their father, who, apart from his original intentions to be a private planter in the colony, agreed to serve as governor. Pleased with Nathaniel Johnsons service, the proprietors later (1717) selected his son to take the chief executive position.

Proprietary Governor. Robert Johnson had been characterized as a person of Integrity and Capacity well affected to her Majestys Government and every way qualified for that Trust. Upon this recommendation the Board of Trade agreed to his becoming governor provided he would swear an oath and provide a bond to ensure that he would uphold the Navigation Acts earlier imposed on the colonies. With Johnsons oath and bond supplied, he was appointed. As capable a man as Johnson was, his first year in office reflected his inexperience. The proprietors had offered assemblymen a deal that if they would approve a new quitrent law (proprietors were losing money due to the ineffective implementation of the existing law) they would personally receive a two-year remission in past quitrent debts. The proprietors also directed Johnson to present before the assembly a plan to raise the price of land in South Carolina. The assembly completely rejected it. The young governor was furious and determined to retaliate by blocking their appointment for powder receiver. Johnson argued that as chief commander of the militia, he had the sole right for such an appointment. He eventually withdrew his demand but did scold the assembly by insisting that they should recognize the proprietors as their masters. The assemblymen responded that they did not recognize the proprietors as such. This small episode illustrates the growing frustration already existent between colonial leaders and proprietors. Although Johnson was able to eventually work harmoniously with the assembly on subsequent financial matters, the assemblys determination to reject proprietary attempts at undue dominance remained a constant.

Road to Royal Rule. Provincial discontent intensified in the summer of 1718 when the proprietors began an assault on the assembly by disallowing many of its laws and by ordering Johnson to dissolve the assembly and make arrangements for new elections. Johnson recognized that the proprietors were out of hand, and he began to work with the assembly (which he did not dissolve) against proprietary prerogatives. Added to this was the refusal of the proprietors to help defend the colony against piracy. In that same summer pirate Edward Teach (Blackbeard) practically held Charleston captive for a week. When word spread that South Carolinas shores were vulnerable, other pirates made similar attempts. For a period of five months the colony was periodically terrorized by various sea bandits, with no help from the proprietors. Eventually the piracy all but ceased on the Carolina coast when Governor Johnson himself led an expedition that captured pirate Stede Bonnet along with forty-eight others. The pirates were convicted and hanged in Charleston.

Resentments. The proprietors refusal to send aid during this crisis hardened the colonists attitude toward them even further. And if that was not enough to cause an antiproprietary revolt, the subsequent actions taken by the proprietors did. In 1719 the proprietors attempted to completely reorganize the council by replacing antiproprietors with men more apt to comply with their wishes. Also in that year they reintroduced the earlier efforts of land reform and assembly reelections. This time Governor Johnson, albeit reluctantly, complied with their wishes, dissolved the assembly, and called for new elections. But the new assembly, which had convened on 10 December 1719, refused to recognize the reorganized council. They requested that Governor Johnson rather than the proprietors assume governorship under the Crown. He refused and gave the reason of my honor as being Intrusted by their Lordships. On 21 December, the day of the militia muster in Charleston, Governor Johnson ordered the soldiers to go home; they refused. On that day the rebel factions were successful in dismissing Johnson from the governorship, replacing him with James Moore Jr. A revolution had occurred. Johnson made several efforts to regain control of the government. He had hoped to be named the first royal governor. Yet in 1721 the Board of Trade appointed sixty-six-year-old Francis Nicholson, the most tried and proven royal administrator available, as the first royal governor of South Carolina. But Johnsons career was not over.

Royal Governor. From 1724 Johnson had been in London seeking a royal governorship. In 1729 his connections and past experience gave him the opportunity to mediate the negotiations between the proprietors (who wanted to sell the Carolinas) and the Crown. Johnson helped to successfully negotiate the deal, which also helped him to win his second appointment as governor of South Carolina. There were two major plans for South Carolina that Johnson presented to the Board of Trade. He and his friend Samuel Wragg, the South Carolina Assembly agent to London, convinced the Crown authorities, because of hard-money policy failures, to allow for a more flexible currency system in the colony. This would ease many of the cash-flow problems that had almost shut down any semblance of effective government. One of the most important elements in Johnsons instructions from the Board of Trade was the authority to implement a new township system, a plan he had earlier introduced to the board. The system allowed for the formation of ten townships in the Carolina backcountry to be settled by exiled Protestants from Europe. As an inducement for settlement South Carolina would provide free land to the refugees. This would serve the colony in at least two important ways, Johnson argued. It would mean a greater balance between whites and blacks in the colony. Also, the presence of new settlements on the frontier would enhance the colonys military defense. It is one thing to present new policy; it is another to successfully implement it.

Reasonable Harmony. Upon Johnsons arrival in 1730 he found a much more conciliatory attitude among the colonists. As one Anglican missionary stated, I think the People have done with their former animosities, and have been in an indifferent easy quiet condition. South Carolina colonists had come to recognize the futility of extremism. This attitude also existed with Johnson. Although the province faced much graver financial problems than previously known, Johnsons flexible interpretation of his instructions helped funnel necessary funds to pay off debts earlier than would have otherwise been possible.

Middle Ground. On other key issues Johnson compromised enough to bring most factions into a conciliatory position. For example, in accordance with his instructions he somehow convinced the assembly to allow the council to initiate and amend money bills. Albeit reluctantly, the assembly assented to the instruction; only once in Johnsons administration did it challenge the councils authority in this matter. The harmony that Johnson helped to bring about led to a more prosperous economy. Johnson and Wragg successfully gained concessions from Parliament for direct rice shipments to Europe, thus opening up a vast market for South Carolina planters. From 1732 to 1739 the rice economy in the province boomed. Also beginning in 1732 Johnsons township plan began to pay off. By the year of Johnsons death (1735) six of nine townships were populated with hundreds of productive Protestant immigrants from Europe. This was the beginning of a very large influx of Swiss, German, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish immigrants into the colony. Serving as buffers from Indians, the townships added to the already-growing harmony. The largest buffer against the Spanish in Florida, the new colony of Georgia, also materialized under Johnsons leadership. Had it not been for South Carolinas enthusiastic aid to James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, the new colony would not have succeeded. In addition to funds and supplies Johnson sent a very able councilor, William Bull, to assist Oglethorpe with Indian negotiations, militia establishment, surveying, and construction.

Land. Of course Robert Johnsons royal governorship was not without its problems. He spent much of his time trying to work out land disputes that the transition from a proprietary to royal government created. Critics accused Johnson of showing favoritism to the wealthy landed elite by giving them more land than was allowed and by not charging quitrents to some. Others blamed Johnsons instructions which outlined an incomplete quitrent law (1731). The new law left Johnson with a system of collection so incomplete that he had to improvise its execution. It is reasonable to lay the blame on both Johnson and the 1731 law. Wherever it should be laid, this failure in the land system was a blight in an otherwise successful administration.

The Good Governor. Johnsons service ended with his death on 3 May 1735. He had been the governor both under proprietors and under the Crown. He had taken his political knocks, especially in his first term. His is a story of reasonable compromise, a quality necessary for any colonial governors success. He learned his lessons early, lessons that would win him another chance at leadership. The lessons learned helped him in no small way to lead the colony in transition from considerable tumult to reasonable harmony. For this he has long been known in South Carolina history as the good Governor Johnson.

Sources

Helen Kohn Hennig, Great South Carolinians from Colonial Days to the Confederate War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940);

Richard P. Sherman, Robert Johnson: Proprietary & Royal Governor of South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1966);

M. Eugene Sirmans, Colonial South Carolina: A Political History, 16631763 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966).

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Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

Of all the great blues musicians, Robert Johnson (1911-1938) was probably the most obscure. All that is known of him for certain is that he recorded 29 songs; he died young; and he was one of the greatest bluesmen of the Mississippi Delta.

There are only five dates in Johnson's life that can undeniably be used to assign him to a place in history: Monday, November 23; Thursday, November 26; and Friday, November 27, 1936, he was in San Antonio, Texas, at a recording session. Seven months later, on Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20, 1937, he was in Dallas at another session. Everything else about his life is an attempt at reconstruction. As director Martin Scorsese says in his foreword to Alan Greenberg's play Love In Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson, "The thing about Robert Johnson was that he only existed on his records. He was pure legend."

Beginnings

Robert Johnson was born in the Mississippi Delta (Hazlehurst, Mississippi) sometime around May 8, 1911, the 11th child of Julia Major Dodds, who had previously born 10 children to her husband Charles Dodds. Born illegitimate, Johnson did not take the Dodds name.

Twenty two-year-old Charles Dodds had married Julia Major in Hazlehurst, Mississippi—about 35 miles from Jackson—in 1889. Charles Dodds owned land and made wicker furniture; his family was well off until he was forced out of Hazlehurst around 1909 by a lynch mob following an argument with some of the more prosperous townsfolk. (There was a family legend that Dodds escaped from Hazlehurst dressed in women's clothing.) Over the next two years, Julia Dodds sent their children one at time to live with their father in Memphis, where Charles Dodds had adopted the name of Charles Spencer. Julia stayed behind in Hazlehurst with two daughters, until she was evicted for nonpayment of taxes.

By that time she had given birth to a son, Robert, who was fathered by a field worker named Nonah Johnson. Unwelcome in Charles Dodds' home, Julia Dodds became an itinerant field worker, picking cotton and living in camps as she moved among plantations. While she worked in the fields, her eight-year-old daughter took care of Johnson. Over the next ten years, Dodds would make repeated attempts to reunite the family, but Charles Dodds never stopped resenting her infidelity. Although Charles Dodds would eventually accept Johnson, he never would forgive his wife for giving birth to him. While in his teens, Johnson learned who his father was, and it was at that time that he began calling himself Robert Johnson.

Around 1914, Johnson moved in with Charles Dodds' family, which by that time included all of Dodds' children by Julia Dodds, as well as Dodds' mistress from Hazlehurst and their two children. Johnson would spend the next several years in Memphis, and it was reportedly about this time that he began playing the guitar under his older half-brother's tutelage.

Johnson did not rejoin his mother until she had re-married several years later. By the end of the decade, he was back in the Mississippi Delta living with his mother and her new husband, Dusty Willis. Johnson and his stepfather, who had little tolerance for music, did not get along, and Johnson had to slip out of the house to join his musician friends. Eventually he decided to run away.

It is not known whether Johnson attended school in the Delta during this time. Some later accounts say that he could neither read nor write, while others tell of his beautiful handwriting. In any case, everyone agrees that music was Johnson's first interest, and that he had gotten his start playing the jew's harp and harmonica.

Bluesman

By 1930, Johnson had married and become serious about playing the guitar. During the time that he was married, he lived with his sister and her husband. But his wife died in childbirth at the age of 16. By some accounts, Johnson briefly moved back with his mother and stepfather, where he encountered the same problems that he had found intolerable when he was growing up and soon left. In 1931, he married for a second time. By then, his fellow musicians were beginning to take note of his precocity on the guitar.

Johnson began traveling up and down the Delta, travelling by bus, hopping trains, and sometimes hitchhiking. When he arrived in a new town, he would play on street corners or in front of the local barbershop or a restaurant. He played what his audience asked for—not necessarily his own compositions. Anything he earned was based on tips, not salary. With an ability to pick up tunes at first hearing, Johnson had no trouble giving his audiences what they wanted. Also working in his favor was an ability to establish instant rapport with his audiences. In every town he stopped, Johnson would establish ties to the local community that would serve him in good stead when he passed through again a month or a year later.

Fellow musician Johnny Shines was 17 when he met Johnson in 1933. He estimated that Johnson was maybe a year older than himself. In Samuel Charters' Robert Johnson, the author quotes Shines as saying, "Robert was a very friendly person, even though he was sulky at times, you know. And I hung around Robert for quite a while. One evening he disappeared. He was kind of [a] peculiar fellow. Robert'd be standing up playing some place, playing like nobody's business. At about that time it was a hustle with him as well as a pleasure. And money'd becoming from all directions. But Robert'd just pick up and walk off and leave you standing there playing. And you wouldn't see Robert no more maybe in two or three weeks… . So Robert and I, we began journeying off. I was just, matter of fact, tagging along."

During this time Johnson established what would be a relatively long-term relationship with a woman who was about 15 years older than himself—the mother of future musician Robert Jr. Lockwood. But Johnson reportedly also had someone—a woman—to look after him in all of the towns he played in. Johnson would reportedly ask young women living in the country with their families whether he could go home with them, and in most cases the answer was yes. At least until their husbands came home or Johnson was ready to move on.

Recording Sessions

Around 1936, Johnson met H. C. Spier in Jackson, Mississippi, who ran a music store and doubled as a talent scout. Spier put Johnson in touch with Ernie Oertle, who offered to record the young musician in San Antonio, Texas. At the recording session, Johnson was too shy to perform in front of the musicians in the studio, so played facing the wall. In the ensuing three-day session, Johnson played 16 selections. When the recording session was over, Johnson presumably returned home with several hundred dollars in his pocket—probably more money than he had ever had at one time.

Among the songs Johnson recorded in San Antonio were "Come On In My Kitchen," "Kind Hearted Woman," and "Cross Roads Blues." "Come On In My Kitchen" included the lines: "The woman I love took from my best friend/Some joker got lucky, stole her back again,/You better come on in my kitchen, it's going to be rainin' outdoors." In "Cross Roads Blues," another of his great songs, he sang: "I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees./I went to the crossroads, fell down on my knees./I asked the Lord above, have mercy, save poor Bob if you please./Uumb, standing at the crossroads I tried to flag a ride./Standing at the crossroads I tried to flag a ride./Ain't nobody seem to know me, everybody pass me by."

When his records began appearing, Johnson made the rounds to his relatives and the various children he had fathered to bring them the records himself. The first songs to appear were "Terraplane Blues" and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down," probably the only recordings of his that he would live to hear.

In 1937, Johnson traveled to Dallas, Texas, for another recording session. Eleven records from this session would be released within the following year. Among them were the three songs that would largely contribute to Johnson's posthumous fame: "Stones In My Heart," "Me And The Devil," and "Hell Hound On My Trail." "Stones In My Heart" and "Me And The Devil" are both about betrayal and making a pact with the devil. The terrifying "Hell Hound On My Trail" is often considered to be the crowning achievement of blues-style music.

Interestingly, six of Johnson's blues songs mention the devil or some form of the supernatural. In "Me And The Devil," he began, "Early this morning when you knocked upon my door,/Early this morning, umb, when you knocked upon my door,/And I said, 'Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go,' " before leading into "You may bury my body down by the highway side,/ You may bury my body, uumh, down by the highway side,/So my old evil spirit can get on a Greyhound bus and ride."

Death at the Crossroads

In the last year of his life, Johnson is believed to have traveled to St. Louis and possibly Illinois. He spent sometime in Memphis and traveled through the Mississippi Delta and Arkansas. By the time he died, at least six of his records had been released.

His death came on August 16, 1938, at the approximate age of 26 at a little country crossroads near Greenwood, Mississippi. He had been playing for several weeks at a country dance in a town about 15 miles from Greenwood when, by some accounts, he was given poisoned whiskey at the dance by the husband of a woman he had been seeing.

Johnson was buried in the graveyard of a small church near Morgan City, Mississippi, not far from Greenwood, in an unmarked grave. His life would be short but his music would serve as the root source for an entire generation of blues and rock and roll musicians.

Among the Mississippi Delta bluesmen believed to have exerted the strongest influences on Johnson's music are Charley Patton, Willie Brown, Howlin' Wolf, Tommy Johnson, and Son House. Peter Guralnick, in Searching for Robert Johnson, quotes Son House, "We'd all play for the Saturday night balls, and there'd be this little boy standing around. That was Robert Johnson. He was just a little boy then. He blew harmonica and he was pretty good with that, but he wanted to play guitar."

Books

Charters, Samuel, Robert Johnson, Oak Publications, 1973.

Greenberg, Alan, Love In Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson, DaCapo Press, 1994.

Guralnick, Peter, Searching for Robert Johnson, E.P. Dutton, 1989. □

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Robert Johnson Estate: 1998

Robert Johnson Estate: 1998

Claim: That Claud Johnson was the biological son and sole heir of Robert L. Johnson
Claimant: Claud L. Johnson
Contestants: Robert M. Harris, Annye C. Anderson
Claimant's Lawyers: James W. Kitchens, Nancy A. Olson
Contestants' Lawyers: Stephen E. Nevas, Karla Kithcart
Judge: Jon M. Barnwell
Place: Greenwood, Mississippi
Dates of Hearing: October 12-15, 1998
Decision: In favor of claimant

SIGNIFICANCE: Mississippi probate and paternity laws helped to settle the estate of a major figure in American folklore.

When Robert Johnson was buried in a pauper's grave, it seemed unlikely that the itinerant musician would be remembered by anyone but the working people he had entertained at country dances and juke joints. In fact, Johnson's music and mysterious life became one of the enduring legends of American musical history, but not until decades after his death. The question of who should profit from his genius took even longer to answer.

Johnson was not well known outside of the Mississippi delta during his lifetime. His astonishing musical talent, coupled with the low opinion of blues musicians held by church going members of the African American community, stoked rumors that Johnson had sold his soul to the devil in order to play and sing so well. After he was poisoned by a jealous husband at a dance near Greenwood, Mississippi, and died horribly a few days later on August 16, 1938, it was whispered that Satan had claimed Johnson's soul. The 27-year old musician's entire known legacy consisted of 29 recorded songs. As country blues faded with the advent of other musical styles, so did interest in Robert Johnson.

In the 1960s, a resurgent interest in rural American music made the blues popular again. Johnson's mastery of the guitar and the imagery of his lyrics distinguished him from his contemporaries, creating plenty of curiosity about his mysterious life. The rediscovery also began generating a lot of money, not only from sales of Johnson's small but influential body of recordings, but also from enormous publishing and performance royalties generated whenever musicians like Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones recorded new versions of his songs.

It was assumed that Johnson had died without leaving any heirs. In the 1970s, however, blues researcher Stephen LaVere located Johnson's half-sister, Carrie Thompson, who was living in Maryland, unaware of her long-dead brother's influence on popular music. By contrast, LaVere was aware of the profits inherent in a claim to Johnson's as yet unprobated estate, as well as the publishing rights to two photographs of the musician, whose likeness had never been seen by modern admirers. On November 20, 1974, Thompson assigned all of her rights to Robert Johnson's works, the photographs, and any other materials concerning Johnson she possessed over to LaVere. In return, LaVere agreed to pay Thompson 50 percent of all royalties collected by him as a result of his efforts to capitalize on Johnson's musical and artistic legacy. Thompson's claim to be Johnson's only surviving heir was legally assumed to be true. If any other descendants should come forward, sharing profits with them would be her responsibility, not LaVere's.

In 1981, as Thompson's health failed, she granted power of attorney over her affairs to Annye Anderson, a half-sister by her father Charles Dodds' second marriage. In 1982, Anderson's lawyer advised her to choose an attorney in Mississippi, the place of Johnson's death, so that his estate could be officially probated. Thompson died in 1983, leaving Anderson and Thompson's grandson, Robert Harris, as the only known heirs to Johnson's legacy and revenue from the LaVere agreement. When a formal petition to open the estate of Robert L. Johnson in the chancery court of Leflore County, Mississippi, was finally filed on June 1, 1989, Anderson was appointed administratrix.

An Unknown Heir

Anderson's control of the Johnson estate seemed secure. On February 19, 1992, however, a retired gravel truck driver from Crystal Springs, Mississippi, filed a petition in which he claimed to be the son and sole heir of the dead guitarist. Claud Johnson swore that his mother had told him throughout his childhood that Robert Johnson was his father.

Claud Johnson's initial claim was dismissed after Anderson's attorneys argued that Johnson had missed a statutory deadline for presenting himself as an heir. Under a Mississippi law designed to equitably settle all existing pre-1981 claims by "illegitimate" children seeking inheritances from intestate fathers, such claims were required to be filed and adjudicated within three years of July 1, 1981. Claud Johnson's claim was filed years after the 1984 deadline.

When Johnson appealed, the court focused on his contention that Anderson had not performed her administrative duties properly. Appellate judges agreed that Anderson's failure to properly open the Johnson estate in 1982 and seek out possible heirs had benefited her, to the detriment of Claud Johnson. On March 26, 1996, the court reversed the earlier ruling. Waiving the 1984 deadline in the interest of fairness, the court allowed Claud to prosecute his claim to be Robert L. Johnson's son and heir.

The paternity issue came before the Leflore County Court on October 12, 1998. Claud Johnson's birth certificate, which identified his father as "R. L. Johnson, laborer," was introduced to establish that Claud was born on December 16, 1931. His mother, Virgie Jane Cain (formerly Smith), testified in a videotaped deposition that she had been intimate with Robert Johnsonand Johnson alonein March 1931, nine months before Claud was born. The tryst, Cain said, took place in a wooded area by a Copiah County road.

Elderly witnesses agreed that there had been a relationship between Virgie Smith and Robert Johnson. Eighty-year-old Eula Mae Williams startled the court when she testified that she had watched Virgie and Robert making love in the woods in March of 1931. Williams unapologetically testified that she too had been in the woods with a man, with whom she witnessed what must have been Claud Johnson's conception.

On October 15, 1998, Judge Jon Barnwell declared that Claud was the son of Robert Johnson. The judgment entitled Claud to an inheritance of over $1.3 million. Lawyers for Anderson and Harris contested the ruling, questioning the identity of the "R. L. Johnson" listed on Claud's birth certificate and arguing that a note on Robert Johnson's death certificate suggested that he suffered from syphilis and was therefore sterile. Despite uncertainty about where the musician was actually buried, attorneys also wanted DNA proof of kinship between Claud and Robert Johnson.

On June 15, 2000, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the Leflore County decision, ruling that Claud Johnson was in all likelihood the son of the blues master. The court dismissed the scribble on the back of the death certificate as unreliable. Robert Johnson's 1931 marriage to a woman who died giving birth to a stillborn child further suggested to the court that he had not been sterile. In rebuffing the demand for DNA evidence, the court borrowed an image from Johnson's "Me and the Devil Blues."

Such proof "would be nigh impossible to obtain since Johnson's grave site is unknown," wrote Justice Mike Mills. "As far as we know, Johnson is buried down by the highway side, so 'his old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride.'"

Tom Smith

Suggestions for Further Reading

Bragg, Rick. "Court Rules Father of the Blues Has a Son." New York Times (June 17, 2000): Al.

"Court Says Son Is Sole Heir of Robert Johnson." Billboard (July 1, 2000): 6.

Guralnick, Peter. Searching for Robert Johnson. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1989.

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Johnson, Robert

Robert Johnson, 1911–38, African-American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter, b. Hazelhurst, Miss. A sharecropper's son, he grew up absorbing the music of Delta bluesmen, learning the harmonica and then mastering the guitar. Johnson left home around 1930 and for the rest of his life traveled the country, playing and singing at parties, juke joints, barrelhouses, and other venues. His reedy voice and virtuoso guitar technique combined in a classic blues sound, plaintive and lonely. The vagaries of love and evil are the themes of many of the songs he sang, whether written by others or himself, e.g., "Terraplane Blues" and "Hellhound on My Trail." In San Antonio (1936) and Dallas (1937) he recorded 29 blues songs, but a year later he was poisoned by a jealous husband. Though all that remains of his legendary work are those Texas recordings, Johnson's influence has been profound, on later blues players and on rock and rollers, some of whom, e.g., the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, have recorded his songs.

See his lyrics ed. by B. Groom and B. Yates (1969); biographies by P. Guralnick (1989) and S. Calt (2001); P. R. Schroeder, Robert Johnson, Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture (2004), and E. Wald, Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues (2004).

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Johnson, Robert

Johnson, Robert (b London, c.1583; d London, 1633). Eng. composer and lutenist. Appointed as one of King's Musicians 1604. Composed instr. pieces, catches, and songs. His settings of Full Fathom Five and Where the Bee Sucks from Shakespeare's The Tempest are thought to have been comp. for the orig. prod. Also wrote mus. for plays by Ben Jonson and for Webster's The Duchess of Malfi (‘Oh, let us howl’, c.1613).

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