Robert Johnson's grave

jporos

Regular
May 8, 2013
43
Mississippi


Although I have lived in Mississippi for a long time now, I have not had a chance to see Robert Johnson's grave until now. (Robert Johnson is the famous bluesman who sold his soul to the Devil at the crossroads for his guitar playing ability).






A few more gravestones in the same cemetery..



and the church. (All shot with Leica D-LUX 6)
 

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I was fairly sure that his burial site was unknown. After a bit of research, there are 3 different "gravesites" that have markers. This is the most recent one and Sony Music (who has long owned the rights to the Johnson recordings) is the one who paid for that lovely stone in the 90's.
 

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
another fascinating story about the graves of the original bluesmen relates to Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Blind Lemon Jefferson wrote the great tune "See That My Grave is Kept Clean" (sometimes performed as "One Kind Favor"). Of course his death in 1929 is also shrouded in mystery (like all great bluesmen). Not only was his grave not kept clean.....it was actually unmarked until 1967 (!) The cemetery and marker were in such horrible shape that they needed a new one in 1997. In 2007 they renamed the cemetery to reflect it's most famous "resident" and now it is finally being kept clean by a cemetery committee.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I lived in Seattle for many many years but never managed to visit Jimi Hendrix's grave. I sort of regret it but I also never saw the guy perform, which I regret more (despite the fact that I was only 11 when he died). Two amazing influences of everyone playing any sort of blues and most good rock to this day....

-Ray
 

jporos

Regular
May 8, 2013
43
Mississippi


Here is the back of the grave. I guess i would give this grave more credence before the other two because Johnson was reportedly in a neighborhood in Greenwood called Baptist Town before he died. He had played numerous times in Baptist Town.
 

Phoenix

All-Pro
Dec 28, 2011
124
Melbourne, Australia
Phoenix Gonzales
I think there was a movie sometime back in the 80's which I think borrowed some elements from Robert Johnson's tale, the movie was also called Crossroads.
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
124
Melbourne, Australia
Did you know I've known ROBERT Johnson for a while now, but for a long time I didn't know who JACK Johnson was. And every time some hip young dude speaks to me about how cool JACK Johnson was, I thought they were talking about ROBERT Johnson.

And it made me suspicious because some of these young hip dudes had no business knowing who a true classic blues musician like ROBERT Johnson was. The way they talked about ROBERT (Jack) Johnson, the more I was convinced they didn't know nothin' about who ROBERT Johnson was and they were just talking out of their asses. I suppose ROBERT Johnson could be said to have a real cool laid back soulful understated style to his music but he sure as hell didn't go surfin' down by the bayou.
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
124
Jersey Shore
Steve

biglouis

Veteran
Aug 4, 2013
103
'jporos' - thanks for sharing. I too thought that Robert Johnson's grave had been lost to obscurity. Interesting find and well done for photographing it for all to see.


another fascinating story about the graves of the original bluesmen relates to Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Blind Lemon Jefferson wrote the great tune "See That My Grave is Kept Clean" (sometimes performed as "One Kind Favor"). Of course his death in 1929 is also shrouded in mystery (like all great bluesmen). Not only was his grave not kept clean.....it was actually unmarked until 1967 (!) The cemetery and marker were in such horrible shape that they needed a new one in 1997. In 2007 they renamed the cemetery to reflect it's most famous "resident" and now it is finally being kept clean by a cemetery committee.
As a side note, Luke, I never knew that 'One Kind Favor' was a Blind Lemon Jefferson song. I was introduced to it on the Peter Paul and Mary release 'In Concert' some time in about 1965-66 and in my youth performed my own version when I did floor spots in folk clubs. Thanks for the information!

It was also the inspiration for a photograph I took a few years back...

LouisB
 

Dewi Sant

Veteran
Dec 20, 2013
103
Lancashire, England
Guess?
I lived in Seattle for many many years but never managed to visit Jimi Hendrix's grave. I sort of regret it but I also never saw the guy perform, which I regret more (despite the fact that I was only 11 when he died). Two amazing influences of everyone playing any sort of blues and most good rock to this day....

-Ray
I saw Hendrix live twice, Ray. He was quite good :wink:
 

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