Music fans everywhere are familiar with the legend of Robert Johnson, but tonight on IDs The Will: Family Secrets Revealed, they will get to see a new look at the Robert Johnson estate.
In 1938, future legendary blues artist Robert Johnson dies penniless. A re-release of his recordings make him one of the top-selling blues artists of all-time. With no will or known descendants, the search for the heir to Robert Johnson's millions begins.
Robert Johnson was born in Mississippi in 1911. Between 1936 and 1937, he recorded 29 songs for the American Record Corporation. During Johnson’s lifetime, the company released eleven 78rpm records on their Vocalion label, the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation (RJBF) indicates, and one following his death in 1938. These records included “Cross Road Blues,” “Love In Vain,” “Hellhound On My Trail,” “I Believe I¹ll Dust My Broom,” “Walking Blues,” and “Sweet Home Chicago.” According to the RJBF website:
Never had the hardships of the world been transformed into such a poetic height; never had the blues plumbed such an emotional depth. Johnson took the intense loneliness, terrors and tortuous lifestyle that came with being an African-American in the South during the Great Depression, and transformed that specific and very personal experience into music of universal relevance and global reach. “You want to know how good the blues can get?” Keith Richards once asked, answering his own question: “Well, this is it.” Eric Clapton put it more plainly: “I have never found anything more deeply soulful than Robert Johnson.”
The Mystery of Robert Johnson
The mystique of Robert Johnson has grown over the years, because so little is known about him, including a concrete cause of death. Additionally, the rumor that he received his musical talents after making a deal with the devil never fails to intrigue fans and students of his music. And, so many years after his death, his legend continues to grow, along with an ever-appreciative audience.
Read more about the life of Robert Johnson on the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation website.
The Will: Family Secrets Revealed investigates the estate of Robert Johnson tonight, Thursday, December 06, on Investigation Discovery at 9 p.m.
Image: Wikimedia Commons