Searching for Robert Johnson: The Life and Legend of the "King of the Delta Blues Singers" (Paperback)

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Searching for Robert Johnson: The Life and Legend of the
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Staff Reviews

This slim volume is an excellent introduction to the life and work of the man hailed as the "King of the Delta Blues" (all respect and deference to Charley Patton). Definitely one to pick up if you're a long-time fan of the genre or just getting into the blues.


Music critic, author, and screenwriter Peter Guarlnick illuminates the life and legend of blues guitarist Robert Johnson in this extended essay.

He was probably the most influential of all bluesman. And yet Robert Johnson remained virtually unknown to a wider audience until the release of his complete recordings in 1990, fifty-two years after his death.

Unquestionably the main influence on Muddy Waters and an entire generation of rock 'n' roll and blues musicians including Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones, Johnson is known for the ferocity and originality of his work, and for the tormented sensibility that lay behind it. Poisoned by a jealous husband at the age of twenty-seven, widely believed to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical gifts, Robert Johnson has long enjoyed a myth that has at times overshadowed his music.

This brilliant ode to the “King of the Delta Blues” evokes the place and time that gave birth to the man and the myth and gracefully mirrors the world and artistry of Robert Johnson himself.

“I finished the book feeling that, if only for a brief moment, Robert Johnson had stepped out of the mists.”—New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Peter Guralnick is the author of the hugely successful book on Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis. He lives in West Newbury, Massachusetts.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780452279490
ISBN-10: 0452279496
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: August 1st, 1998
Pages: 96
Language: English