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Anyone who is aware of Robert Johnson's contribution to blues and rock music will want this book. It is as true a picture of the man as we will ever have.
With a fan's enthusiasm and a scholar's scruples, Graves (English & humanities, LeMoyne-Owen Coll., Memphis; former editor, Rock & Roll Disc magazine) sets the record straight on the life and times of Robert Johnson and his influence on musicians since his passing in 1938. The myths aren't exploded but instead explained as the response of those who discovered his music, especially those young rock musicians who fell in love with it in the late 1950s and early 1960s. And that's the strong point of this book, where fact and fiction collide; in addition to shattering some ridiculous illusions about Johnson's life, the author convincingly shows that Johnson's skills as a musician and composer are what count. Fortunately, contemporaries of Johnson and those close to him left behind enough information to show what Johnson was really like, and Graves offers some useful items, as when he explains the value of the few validated photographs of Johnson. This book, which finally salvages Johnson's life from the myths surrounding it, is highly recommended.
—William G. Kenz
Posted December 12, 2011
Not much to this book. You can read it quickly and in short order. It's probably not the author's fault. I think there is probably not a lot to learn Robert Johnson. Not as interesting as I had hoped.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.