A History of Robert Johnson

robert johnsonAnyone read the Vanity Fair article by Frank DiGiacomo called Portrait of a Phantom? It begins with the story of a guy finding what he believes might be a photograph of Robert Johnson and his efforts to authenticate it.

In the seven decades since his mysterious death, bluesman Robert Johnson’s legend has grown — the tragically short life, the “crossroads” tale of supernatural talent, the genuine gift that inspired Dylan, Clapton, and other greats — but his image remains elusive: only two photos of Johnson have ever been seen by the public. In 2005, on eBay, guitar maven Zeke Schein thought he’d found a third.

In the telling of the photograph’s story, DiGiacomo paints the most comprehensive history of Johnson’s life I’ve ever read. Admittedly, I haven’t read much, but it’s still an interesting article. And it’s kind of cool to see a new photograph of someone who might be Robert Johnson.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

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