We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

This highly acclaimed biography from the author of Last Train to Memphis illuminates the extraordinary life of one of the most influential blues singers of all time, the legendary guitarist and songwriter whose music inspired generations of musicians, from Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones and beyond.
 
The myth of Robert Johnson’s short life has often overshadowed his music. When he died in 1938 at the age of just twenty-seven, poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he’d been flirting with at a dance, Johnson had recorded only twenty-nine songs. But those songs would endure as musical touchstones for generations of blues performers. With fresh insights and new information gleaned since its original publication, this brief biographical exploration brilliantly examines both the myth and the music.
 
Much in the manner of his masterful biographies of Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, and Sam Cooke, Peter Guralnick here gives readers an insightful, thought-provoking, and deeply felt picture, removing much of the obscurity that once surrounded Johnson without forfeiting any of the mystery. “I finished the book," declared the New York Times Book Review, "feeling that, if only for a brief moment, Robert Johnson had stepped out of the mists.”

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reader Reviews

Praise

"Combines head and heart [and] seduces you with the flow of a sentence...With a thoroughness that belies his book's slender size, Guralnick traces Johnson's lineage in the history of the Delta blues."
Village Voice
Read More Read Less