Robert Johnson

blues singer, guitarist
Born: 5/5/1911
Birthplace: Hazelhurst, Mississippi

Robert Johnson may well have been the most influential blues musician of all time. Although he only recorded 29 songs, Johnson's music has inspired a wide range of musicians, including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. His stable of classics include “Cross Road Blues,” “I Believe I'll Dust My Broom,” and “I'm a Steady Rollin' Man.”

Robert Johnson held only two recording sessions in his life, in 1936 and 1937. The sessions wielded a number of blues classics, including “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Terraplane Blues,” “Walkin' Blues,” “Me and the Devil Blues,” “Hell Hound on My Trail,” and “Traveling Riverside Blues.”

In 1990, Columbia Records released a boxed set, The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson, which went platinum and won a Grammy for best Historical Recording, proving that Johnson's influence is still strong. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Died: 8/16/1938
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