Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

by Tom Graves


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The result of careful and meticulous research, this stylishly-written biography of infamous blues musician Robert Johnson reveals the real story behind the mythical talent that made him a musical legend. According to some, Robert Johnson learned guitar by trading his soul away to the Devil at a crossroads in rural Mississippi. When he died at age 27 of a mysterious poisoning, many superstitious fans came to believe that the Devil had returned to take his due. This diligent study of Johnson's life debunks these myths while emphasizing the effect that Robert Johnson, said to be the greatest blues musician who ever lived, has had on modern musicians such as Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones and fans of the blues. Tom Graves, a master of what Ernest Hemingway called "the true sentence" and the telling detail, pieces together the fragments of the jagged, elusive puzzle that is Robert Johnson.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942531258
Publisher: The Devault-Graves Agency
Publication date: 04/21/2017
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 1,230,623
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Tom Graves is the author of Pullers and has written articles for American HistoryMusician, The New Leader, The New York Times Book Review, The Oxford American, Rolling Stone, and The Washington Post Book World. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Steve LaVere is a music historian and a Grammy Award–winning record producer.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Crossroads is well researched, informative and easy to read. . . . An enjoyable read that separates the man from the myth."  —Blues Review magazine

"Graves applies the lively narration of music journalism to this brief

biography of Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson."  —Book News Inc.

"The most complete and accurate book so far on Robert Johnson . . . an interesting and absorbing book that not only will be of interest to new fans, but will fill in some gaps for longtime fans."  —Blues Bytes online magazine

"Graves' study is well researched and entertaining, and worth a read by anyone interested in Johnson and his remarkable legacy."  —Dirty Linen magazine

"This short book is an interesting study . . . of Robert Johnson's life but also in the legends surrounding his life and death. Graves is adept at retelling the facts."  —BluesWax

"Graves'. . . aim in this brief but handy clearinghouse of a book is to separate fact from fiction and set the record straight, a job even Johnson's friends in the 1930s had trouble doing."  —Memphis magazine

"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."  —Blues Society of Tulsa

Customer Reviews