Robert Johnson (1930s blues legend)

~ Person


Eleven 78s were released during Robert Johnson's lifetime, and one posthumously, on the Vocalion label, in the late 1930's. It was not until the "King of the Delta Blues Singers" releases in 1961 and 1970, that the material was widely available, on LP. In 1990, a comprehensive release "The Complete Recordings" included the 24 originally released Vocalion tracks, as well as 17 alternate takes and alternate tracks, which comprise the complete known Robert Johnson legacy of recorded material.

Annotation last modified on 2012-05-01 04:16 UTC.

Legal name: Robert Leroy Johnson


Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues singer and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including the Faustian myth that he sold his soul at a crossroads to achieve success. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime.

It was only after the reissue of his recordings in 1961 on the LP King of the Delta Blues Singers that his work reached a wider audience. Johnson is now recognized as a master of the blues, particularly of the Mississippi Delta blues style. He is credited by many rock musicians as an important influence; Eric Clapton has called Johnson "the most important blues singer that ever lived." Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an "Early Influence" in their first induction ceremony in 1986. In 2010, David Fricke ranked Johnson fifth in Rolling Stone′s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

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Album + Compilation

Year Title Rating Releases
1966 King of the Delta Blues Singers Compilation 5
1970 King of the Delta Blues Singers, Volume 2 Compilation 4 3
1989 Delta Blues, Volume One Compilation 1
1989 Delta Blues, Volume Two Compilation 1
1989 The Robert Johnson Story Compilation 1
1990 The Complete Recordings Compilation 4
1992 The Legendary Blues Singer Compilation 1
1993 The Blues Collection 6: Red Hot Blues Compilation 2
1993 The Original Blues Legend Compilation 1
1995 The Gold Collection: 40 Classic Performances Compilation 1
1995 The Best of Robert Johnson: Crossroad Blues Compilation 1
1995 The Blues: San Antonio - Dallas 1936-37 Compilation 1
1997 King of the Delta Blues Compilation 5 1
1997 ... I went down to the Crossroads Compilation 1
1997 Cross Road Blues Compilation 1
1997 The Gold Collection Compilation 1
1997 The Masters Compilation 1
1998 The Complete Collection Compilation 1
1999 Hellhound on My Trail Compilation 1
1999 Genius of the Blues: Complete Original Takes Compilation 1
1999 The Last of the Great Blues Singers Compilation 2
2000 Devil on My Trail Compilation 1
2001 Midnite Jazz & Blues: King of the Delta Blues Compilation 1
2001 The Best of Robert Johnson Compilation 1
2002 Contracted to the Devil Compilation 1
2003 Old School Blues Compilation 1
2004 An Introduction to Robert Johnson Compilation 1
2004 From Four Till Late Compilation 1
2004 Hellhound on My Trail Compilation 1
2004 Inspiring Eric Compilation 1
2004 The Complete Recordings Compilation 1
2007 Robert Johnson & The Last of the Mississippi Blues Singers. Compilation 1
2007 The High Price of Soul Compilation 1
2008 The Complete Collection Compilation 1
2010 The Rough Guide to Jazz and Blues Legends: Robert Johnson Compilation 5 1
2011 The Centennial Collection Compilation 5 1
2011 The Complete Original Masters: Centenial Edition Compilation 1
BD Blues, Volume 5 Compilation 1
Beg, Borrow or Steal Compilation 1
Cross Road Blues Compilation 1
Deal With the Devil, Volume 1 Compilation 1
Down at the Crossroads - The Robert Johnson Connection Compilation 1
Gold Collection #1 Compilation 1
Kind Hearted Woman Compilation 1
Nothing but the Blues: Robert Johnson Compilation 1
Robert Johnson: Delta Blues Legend Compilation 1
Robert Johnson: The Very Best Compilation 1


Year Title Rating Releases
1936 32-20 Blues / Last Fair Deal Gone Down 1
1936 Come on in My Kitchen / They're Red Hot 1
1936 Kind Hearted Woman / Terraplane Blues 1

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