This Week in Texas Music History: Robert Johnson
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a Dallas recording session that some believe involved a deal with the devil.
On June 19th and 20th, 1937, Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson had his final recording session in Dallas. Along with the songs he had already recorded in San Antonio in November 1936, these Texas sessions make up the legendary bluesman’s entire recorded catalog. A popular myth suggests that Johnson sold his soul to the devil in order to gain his remarkable musical talent. This legend was reinforced by Johnson’s mysterious death at the age of 27 and the dark themes found in many of his songs, including “Hellhound on My Trail.”
Robert Johnson’s Texas recordings, which included such classic songs as “Crossroads” and “Sweet Home Chicago,” had an enormous influence on countless younger blues musicians, including Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a performer who was a real force of nature.