Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues singer and musician. His landmark recordings from 1936–1937 display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that have influenced generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including a Faustian myth.
Johnson's songs, vocal phrasing and guitar style have influenced a broad range of musicians; 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. He was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Robert Johnson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, probably on May 8, 1911 or 1912, to Julia Major Dodds (born October 1874) and Noah Johnson (born December 1884). Julia was married to Charles Dodds (born February 1865), a relatively prosperous landowner and furniture maker with whom she gave birth to 10 children. Dodds had been forced by a lynch mob to leave Hazlehurst following a dispute with white landowners. Julia herself...
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