Johnson v. Lucifer (Clarksdale, MS)

A young man suffers an incredible loss – his wife and child died in childbirth — and decides to hide away from the world for a few years, pouring his anguish into his music. He emerges back into the public eye, sharing his hard-earned gift as an incredible guitar player and his Delta Blues music. He dies many years later of a sudden illness he contracted after playing a party.

Somehow this becomes a story of a kid who wanted money, women, and fame, and sells his soul to the Devil to get it. The tale of his death claims he crawled around on all fours, howling at the moon, which supposedly “proves” that the deal really happened.

Le sigh.

It’s one of the stranger urban legends I’ve ever heard. I find it fascinating how much it has captivated the attention of people far and wide, although after spending time in Clarksdale, if it leads to more people giving this town their money and their ear, maybe it’s not so bad.

My heart does ache for Robert Johnson, though, who in all likelihood worked really damn hard learning to play his instrument. But I guess the whole idea that you could turn a tragedy into a talent, well, that’s just a little too far-fetched. Better to go with something a little more plausible. You know, like Satan.

Shot on Google Pixel 3.

More views of Clarksdale:

2 thoughts on “Johnson v. Lucifer (Clarksdale, MS)

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