Happy 100th Birthday, Blues Legend Robert Johnson

Hypothetical Question of The Day: If he had really sold his soul to the devil (which is legend- never actually happened), would it still be sinful to listen to his music?

And, furthermore, it is racist or ignorant to suggest that a black guitarist could only play so well because of demonic reasons - not because, you know, he practiced and practiced and practiced? I can’t think of any other musician, past or present, whose talent is attributed to the devil.

The power of Johnson’s music has been amplified over the years by the fact that so little about him is known and what little biographical information we now have only revealed itself at an almost glacial pace. Myths surrounding his life took over: that he was a country boy turned ladies’ man; that he only achieved his uncanny musical mastery after selling his soul to the devil. Even the tragedy of his death seemed to grow to mythic proportion: being poisoned by a jealous boyfriend then taking three days to expire, even as the legendary talent scout John Hammond was searching him out to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

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