Robert Johnson

 

Robert Johnson, Calletta Craft, Estella Coleman, Robert Lockwood Jr.

 

Robert Johnson

 

The tombstone of Robert Johnson

 


Robert Johnson auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

 

Robert Johnson

Birth Name: Robert Leroy Johnson
Other names: R.L. Spencer, Robert Dodds, Robert Spencer, Robert Moore, Robert Dusty, Robert Saunders, Robert Sax, Robert Saxton, R.L., called by Son House "Little Robert"

* May 8, 1911 Hazelhurst (Copiah Co), Mississipp
1913 - Julia Dodds, Robert Johnson's mother, moved near Memphis, short time later moved away again and left her children Robert Johnson and his half sister Carrie behind with her ex-husband
1918 - Julia Dodds took Robert and Carrie to Leatherman Plantation, Commerce MS, where she lived since 1916 with her new husband
1924-27 - attended Indian Creek School in Commerce, had an eye complaint
1927 - bought his first guitar
1927-29 - learned guitar playing from Willie Brown - started playing at house parties and picnics in Robinsonville MS
Feb. 17, 1929 - married Virginia Travis, Penton MS - worked on Klein Plantation near Robinsonville
1930 - April 4 - his wife and their Child died shortly after childbirth - June - Son House, Willie Johnson and Charley Patton lived near Lake Cormorant Railstop near Robinsonville - worked with Frank House (Son's brother) and Punk Taylor at barrelhouses, with Wash Hemp area Hughes AR, with Willie Moore in the streets of Robinsonville
1930/31 - returnes to Hazelhurst - worked at juke joints, Copiah Co, frequently with Ike Zinnerman
1931 - May 4 - married Calletta "Callie" Craft in Hazelhurst - Dec. 16 - his son Claud L. was born (mother: Virgie Jane Smith Cain)
1932 - moved with Callie and children to Clarksdale MS - Callie's get ill, Robert left her, Callie died 1933/34 without seeing Robert any more - moved to Helena AR, living with Estella Coleman, mother of Robert Lockwood Jr.
early 30s - worked with Son House in juke joints, Saturday night balls, Banks MS - frequently worked with Son House, Willie Brown, Willie Borum in Church's Park (WC Handy Park) for tips, Memphis MS
through 30s - frequently hoboed from town to town working at small clubs, bars, barrelhouses, jukes, streets in Helena, Marvell, Elaine, Greenville
c1932-37 - teamed with Johnny Shines, Calvin Frazier to work at bars, dances, fish fries, house parties, streets,, cafes, levee camps, coal yards, taverns, speak-easies,, lumber camps through Mississippi Delta, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey and west to Dakota
1935 - worked with Henry Townsend at Ernest Walker's house party, area St Louis, MI
1936 - played for H.C. Speir in Jackson MS who recommended him to Ernie Oertle, ARC salesman - recorded for Vocalion/ARC, San Antonio, TX
March 1937 - first record released (Terraplane Blues/Kindhearted Woman)
1937 - recorded for Vocalion/ARC, Dallas, TX - appeared with Johnny Shines at "The Elder Moten Hour", local radio, Detroit MI [Blues Who's Who] or Windsor ON [Thomas Phleps] - worked with Johnny Shines, Red Water TX
1937-38 - frequently worked with Sonny Boy Williamson (Alex Miller), Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James in jukes, Moorhead near Greenwood MS
1938 - worked with Honey Boy Edwards at jukes and parties in Macomb MS - playing e-guitar in a band, Belzoni MS
Aug. 13, 1938 Robert Johnson was playing with Sonny Boy Williamson at the Road House "Three Forks" near Greenwood
August 16, 1938 Greenwood, Mississippi - see document
buried at Three Forks Cemetery, Greenwood MS

1939 - last of Robert Johnsons 78s released on Vocalion
1961 - "Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues" released on Columbia CL 1654
1968 - Gayle Dean Wardlow uncovered Robert Johnson's Certificate of Death
1970 - "Robert Johnson: King of Delta Blues Vol. 2" released on Columbia 30034
1974 - Robert Johnson's Sister Caroline "Carrie" H. Thompson vested the rights of Robert Johnson's works, photographs of Johnson and any other materials concerning Johnson on Stephen LaVere
1986 - first photo of Robert Johnson released
1989 - second photo released
1990 - "Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings" released on Columbia COL 467246 2
1996 - Gayle Dean Wardlow uncocered the back of Robert Johnson's Certificate of Death and assumes syphilis as cause of death
2000 - the Supreme of Court of Mississippi confirms that Claud L. Johnson is the son of Robert Johnson and that he's the sole heir
2013 - a new photo (the 2nd on the left side), found in an antique auction desk, bought in a auction by Donald Roark, is purported to show Robert Johnson, according to Lois Gibson, an award-winning forensic artist and facial analyst in Houston (http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/music/article/New-photo-of-bluesman-Robert-Johnson-unearthed-6703035.php#photo-9121122)

Instruments: guitar (Stella, Kalamazoo Archtop, Gibson L-1 Flattop, e-guitar in 1938?), harmonica, jew's harp

Influences: Kokomo Arnold, Willie Brown, Son House, Skip James, Lonnie Johnson, Charley Patton, Ike Zinnerman

Influenced: Leroy Foster, Calvin Frazier, John Paul Hammond, Jimi Hendrix, Graham Hine, Roger Hubbard, Elmore James, Floyd Jones, Robert Lockwood Jr., Clayton Love, Robert Lowery, Taj Mahal, Muddy Waters, Robert Nighthawk, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Shines, Eddie Taylor, Baby Boy Warren, Johnny Winter...

Sources:
Wikipedia
Blues Who's Who
Samuel Charters: The Blues Makers. New York, 1991
Werner Gissing: Mississippi Delta Blues: Formen und Texte von Robert Johnson (1911-1938). (Beiträge zur Jazzforschung. Studies in Jazz Research). Graz, 1986
Thomas Phleps: Hell Hound On My Trail: Robert Johnson: Mythos und Musik
Gayle Dean Wardlow: Chasin' That Devil Music: Searching for the Blues. San Francisco, 2008
Dixon, Robert M.W.: Blues & Gospel Records 1890-1943
Wald, Elijah: Escaping the Delta, 2004

Songs (with dates of recordings):


(1 - Drunken Hearted Man 2 - Kindhearted Woman Blues 3 - Little Queen Of Spades 4 - Little Queen Of Spades Alternate Take 5 - Malted Milk 6 - Me And The Devil Blues 7 - Ramblin On My Mind 8 - Stop Breakin Down Blues 9 - Sweet Home Chicago)

32-20 Blues
1936.11.26 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2616-2 ARC 7-04-60, Vocalion 03445, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Come on in My Kitchen
1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2585-1 ARC unissued, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961). SA-2585-2 ARC 8-07-57 Vocalion 03563 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Cross Road Blues
1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2629-1 ARC 7-05-81, Vocalion 03519, SA-2629-2 ARC unissued, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Dead Shrimp Blues
1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2628-2 ARC 7-04-81, Vocalion 03475 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Drunken Hearted Man
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-397-1 ARC unissued (released on Kokomo K1000) DAL-397-2 ARC unissued. Columbia 30034, on: King Of The Delta Blues Vol.II (released 1970) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
From Four Until Late
1937.06.19 -- Dallas TX - DAL-379-1 ARC 7-09-56, Vocalion 03623 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Hell Hound (Hellhound) on My Trail
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-394-2 ARC 7-09-56, Vocalion 03623, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Honeymoon Blues
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-401-1 Vocalion 04002 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
1936.11.23 - - San Antonio TX - SA-2581-1 ARC 7-04-81, Vocalion 3475 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2633-1 ARC unissued, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
I'm a Steady Rollin' Man
1937.06.19 -- Dallas TX - DAL-378-1 ARC 7-12-67, Vocalion 03723 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Kind Hearted Woman Blues
1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2580-1 Vocalion 03416, SA-2580-2 ARC 7-03-56, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)

Last Fair Deal Gone Down
1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2631-1,-2 ARC 7-04-60, Vocalion 03445, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Little Queen of Spades
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-395-1,-2 Vocalion 04108 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Love in Vain
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-402-1 ARC unissued, Kokomo 1000, on: Robert Johnson (released 1967). DAL-402-2 Vocalion 04630 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Malted Milk
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-396-1 ARC 7-10-65, Vocalion 03665 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Me And the Devil Blues
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-398-1,-2 Vocalion 04108, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Milkcow Calf Blues
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-403-2,-3 ARC 7-10-65, Vocalion 03665, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)

Phonograph Blues
1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2587-1 ARC unissued (released 1970 on Columbia 30034) SA-2587-2 ARC unissued, Columbia 46222, on: The Complete Recordings (released 1990) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Preaching Blues
1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2632-1 Vocalion 04630, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Ramblin' On My Mind

1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2583-1,-2 ARC 7-05-81, Vocalion 03519, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)

Stones in My Passway
1937.06.19 -- Dallas TX - DAL-377-2 ARC 7-12-67, Vocalion 03723, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Stop Breakin' Down Blues

1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-399-1,-2 Vocalion 04002 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Sweet Home Chicago
1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2582-1,-2 Vocalion 03601 - Robert Johnson (v,g)

Terraplane Blues
1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2586-1 ARC 7-03-56, Vocalion 03416, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)

They're Red Hot
1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2627-1 ARC 7-07-57, Vocalion 03563 - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Traveling Riverside Blues
1937.06.20 -- Dallas TX - DAL-400-2 ARC unissued, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
Walking Blues

1936.11.27 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2630-1 Vocalion 03601, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961) - Robert Johnson (v,g)
When You Got a Good Friend
1936.11.23 -- San Antonio TX - SA-2584-1 ARC unissued, Columbia 1654, on: King Of The Delta Blues (released 1961), SA-2584-2 ARC unissued, Columbia 46222, on: The Complete Recordings (released 1990) - Robert Johnson (v,g)

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