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-songwriter 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 and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including the Faustian myth that he sold his soul to the devil 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 RatingReleases
1961 King of the Delta Blues Singers 5
1970 King of the Delta Blues Singers, Volume 2 4 3
1989 Delta Blues, Volume One 1
1989 Delta Blues, Volume Two 1
1989 The Robert Johnson Story 1
1990 The Complete Recordings 6
1992 The Legendary Blues Singer 1
1993 The Blues Collection: Robert Johnson, Red Hot Blues 2
1993 The Original Blues Legend 1
1995 The Gold Collection: 40 Classic Performances 1
1995 The Best of Robert Johnson: Crossroad Blues 1
1995 The Blues: San Antonio - Dallas 1936-37 1
1997 King of the Delta Blues 5 1
1997 ... I went down to the Crossroads 1
1997 Cross Road Blues 1
1997 The Gold Collection 1
1997 The Masters 1
1998 The Complete Collection 1
1999 Charly Blues Masterworks, Volume 13: Delta Blues Legend 1
1999 Hellhound on My Trail 1
1999 Genius of the Blues: Complete Original Takes 1
1999 Steady Rollin' Man 1
1999 The Last of the Great Blues Singers 2
2000 Devil on My Trail 1
2001 Midnite Jazz & Blues: King of the Delta Blues 1
2001 The Best of Robert Johnson 1
2002 Contracted to the Devil 1
2004 An Introduction to Robert Johnson 1
2004 From Four Till Late 1
2004 Hellhound on My Trail 1
2004 Inspiring Eric 1
2004 The Complete Recordings 1
2007 Legendary Blues 1
2007 Legendary Blues Volume Two 1
2007 Hellhound on My Trail 1
2007 Original Blues Sessions CD12 1
2007 Robert Johnson & The Last of the Mississippi Blues Singers. 1
2007 The High Price of Soul 1
2008 The Complete Collection 1
2010 The Rough Guide to Jazz and Blues Legends: Robert Johnson 5 1
2011 The Centennial Collection 5 1
2011 The Complete Original Masters: Centenial Edition 1
BD Blues, Volume 5 1
Beg, Borrow or Steal 1
Cross Road Blues 1
Deal With the Devil, Volume 1 1
Down at the Crossroads - The Robert Johnson Connection 1
Gold Collection #1 1
Kind Hearted Woman 1
Nothing but the Blues: Robert Johnson 1

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