The king of the delta blues

When the King of the Delta Blues came home — the family life of Robert Johnson

Whatever would Robert Johnson, self-styled King of the Delta Blues, have made of the Black Lives Matter movement? His was certainly a life that mattered, but it was lived at a time when black lives mattered not a jot to white America. The circumstances of his death in 1938, at the age of 27 (he was probably poisoned by a jealous rival), demonstrate the disenfranchised existence of any peripatetic black performer in Depression-era USA. The murder was never investigated and his body was dumped in an unmarked grave. And that would have been that had he not recorded 29 songs that represented the paradigm of delta blues for pale young