October 15, 2008  |  Uncategorized

The newly-discovered “third photo” of Robert Johnson, pictured with Johnny Shines…

Anyone familiar with the storied legacy of the soul-selling Delta bluesman ROBERT JOHNSON—the genre’s most elusive and influential shadow—is aware of just how little is known of his life and the scant photographic evidence of his existence that was left behind when he was murdered at age 27 in 1938. The only two verified and oft-reproduced photos of the musician were discovered in the possession of his half-sister in 1973 and have remained the only known images of the musician until now. In the November 2008 issue of VANITY FAIR, a newly authenticated photo of Johnson standing with fellow bluesman Johnny Shines discovered on eBay in 2005 is presented in a detailed article that is a must read for the dedicated:

“…As he pored over the mass of texts and thumbnail photos that the eBay search engine had pulled up on that day in 2005, one strangely worded listing caught Schein’s eye. It read, “Old Snapshot Blues Guitar B.B. King???” He clicked on the link, then took in the sepia-toned image that opened on his monitor. Two young black men stared back at Schein from what seemed to be another time. They stood against a plain backdrop wearing snazzy suits, hats, and self-conscious smiles. The man on the left held a guitar stiffly against his lean frame. Neither man looked like B. B. King, but as Schein studied the figure with the guitar, noticing in particular the extraordinary length of his fingers and the way his left eye seemed narrower and out of sync with his right, it occurred to him that he had stumbled across something significant and rare… the more convinced he became that it depicted one of the most mysterious and mythologized blues artists produced by the Delta: the guitarist, singer, and songwriter whom Eric Clapton once anointed “the most important blues musician who ever lived.” That’s not B. B. King, Schein said to himself. Because it’s Robert Johnson.”

Click HERE to read the full article…

The only other known photos of Johnson in existence…

Comments are closed.