Ep. 161: Crossroad Blues – The Mystery of Robert Johnson

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This week, Carrie takes us on a trip back to the 1930s Mississippi Delta with the mysterious story of Robert Johnson, American blues icon and “first ever rock star.” Johnson has long been identified with the legend that he, desperate to become an incredible guitarist, went down to the crossroads one dark night and sold his soul to the Devil for musical glory. 

Did Johnson really make some kind of Faustian bargain with Satan himself? If not, how did he go from no-talent blues wannabe to musical virtuoso in just a few short months? And did the “hellhound on his trail” that dogged him throughout a life shadowed by tragedy drive him to his untimely end at the young age of 27? We try to answer some of these questions and more in this exploration of the darker roots of rock ‘n roll.


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