"The King of the Delta Blues Singers" Arguably the single most influential musician of the 20th century. Born c. May 8, 1911 in Hazelhurst, Mississippi.
Wrote 29 songs that were recorded in San Antonio, Texas in November 1936 and Dallas, Texas in June 1937. Among them was "Cross Road Blues" which fueled the myth that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar and vocal skills.
Robert Johnson is important because he personified the most popular songwriting, vocal and guitar styles of the Mississippi Delta and played the music better than anyone before. He profoundly influenced the mid-century blues
artists of Memphis, St. Louis and Chicago, thereby planting the seed that became rock 'n roll
Died in obscurity c. August 16, 1938 in Greenwood, Mississippi -- one month before John Hammond Sr. located him to play a national tour. He was 27 at the time of his death, preceding Bryan Jones
, Jimi Hendrix
, Janis Joplin
, Jim Morrison
, Kurt Cobain
and other members of the 27 Club
Robert Johnson wrote "Sweet Home Chicago," "Love in Vain," "Stop Breakin' Down," "Traveling Riverside Blues" and "Dust My Broom."