KING OF DELTA BLUES SINGERS: THE INFLUENCER

By: MacKenzie Fox

Robert Johnson sang country blues and played the guitar, creating 29 songs during his life. He started to be known for his work in the late 1930’s due to John Hammond displaying his music during a concert at Carnegie Hall. He went from being unknown to well known because of this. Another reason was that his music stood out and was different from others due to his combination of different blue styles and his amazing guitarist skills. Johnson unfortunately was unable to experience the concert and his rise in popularity due to his passing right before the concert at Carnegie Hall.

The Influenced

The Rolling Stones
Eric Clapton
Bob Dylan

Despite Robert Johnson being known as a Blues Singer, he later on influenced the music of artists in the Rock genre as they mixed Robert Johnsons blues into their music styles. One of Robert Johnson’s songs “Love in Vain” was used by The Rolling Stones and Eric Clayton. Robert Johnson’s guitarist techniques were also heavily influential to many rock artists, like Bob Dylan who used Johnson’s falsettos and rhythm’s. Sometimes people over-used their influencers works. For example, The Rolling Stones used Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” , only adding in their own electric guitar which resulted in a lawsuit due to copyright. Bob Dylan also copyrighted the song “Rolling and Tumbling” that was originally made by Muddy Waters before Bob Dylan came along. This shows how much Robert Johnson and the blues influenced artists in the rock genre but also showed how many artists weren’t as “individualistic” as Johnson was when it came to making music.

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