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The Legend of Robert Johnson

Bruce Conforth on the Legend of Robert Johnson

This week, Jim and Greg are tackling the music of a man whose myth is larger than life - blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Robert Johnson. The legend surrounding the "Sweet Home Chicago" singer is that he“sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads”in exchange for his signature guitar playing prowess. Born in 1911, Johnson displayed great stage presence, talent and potential, but he died suddenly at the age of 27 under suspicious circumstances. That was 81 years ago this month, and since then there have been all kinds of strange rumors and stories told about Johnson. Jim and Greg talk with an expert on Robert Johnson, Bruce Conforth. He co-wrote the book Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson with historian Gayle Dean Wardlow because they wanted to set the record straight. Throughout this long process, they realized the truth they were beginning to uncover was more fascinating than the myth.