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ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2005 | Randy Lewis
Eric Clapton "Back Home" (Reprise) * * * IN the press information accompanying his first album of new material in five years, Clapton notes that while recording these songs he and the other musicians would clear their heads periodically by working up a Robert Johnson blues tune. The most tangible outgrowth of that practice was last year's "Me and Mr. Johnson" album.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
In 1980, R. Crumb produced a set of 36 trading cards called “Heroes of the Blues.” It's a great little set, backing Crumb's drawings with short biographical sketches of performers such as Blind Blake , Charlie Patton , Big Bill Broonzy and Peetie Wheatstraw . If there's any downside to the project, it's that it doesn't cover enough territory. Only 36 musicians? That barely scratches the surface of this most quintessential of American folk art forms. As it turns out, this is the motivation for William Stout's “Legends of the Blues,” coming May 7 from Abrams ComicArts, which picks up where Crumb left off. Featuring 100 musicians, the book has little overlap with “Heroes ...” -- save, as Stout says, “ Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson , two bluesmen I just couldn't bear to leave out” -- making the projects complementary in the most fundamental sense.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 14, 1988 | DON SNOWDEN
Standing at the crossroads I tried to flag a ride Nobody seemed to know me Everybody passed me by. --"Crossroads Blues" by Robert Johnson Robert Johnson died 50 years ago this week but it took three decades--and late-'60s tributes by rock royalty led by the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton--for the Delta blues king to be recognized as one of the most influential figures in American music.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2011 | Randy Lewis
The intersection of DeSoto and State streets here doesn't look like anything special. On the southeast corner of the roads is H Town Custom Wheels. Across DeSoto to the west is Beer & Bud Mart, which faces a Church's Chicken stand. Immediately to the east of that are the Delta Donut shop and Abe's BBQ, the latter noting its service to residents and visitors since 1924. Yet this is the focal point of one of the towering legends of 20th century popular music -- the original intersection of Highways 61 and 49, the place where seminal blues musician Robert Johnson is said to have arrived one midnight to seal a deal with the devil, trading his soul to become the greatest blues musician in history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2006 | Adam Bernstein, Washington Post
Robert Lockwood Jr., a Delta blues guitarist who became the torchbearer of Robert Johnson's guitar legacy and a revered musician in his own right, died Tuesday at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. He was 91 and had suffered a brain aneurysm and a stroke. Few guitarists had the enduring mystique of Johnson, a hard-living, hard-loving musician who created soulful blues landmarks before his death at 27 from poisoned whiskey.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 2005 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Robert Johnson could have easily chosen to stay home after high school. He was surrounded by family and friends in his hometown of Seaside, Calif., and in line to take over his family's heating and air-conditioning business. In every way, he was set up to lead a comfortable life. He chose a military life instead, enlisting in the Army at 18 and going first to Korea, then Iraq. "He wanted to serve his country," said his father, Peter Johnson of Castro Valley, Calif.
NATIONAL
June 2, 2004 | Ellen Barry, Times Staff Writer
Inside the pink brick estate he built with a blues fortune, 72-year-old Claud Johnson cannot shake the habits he formed when he was a poor man. Three years after moving in, he still has more rooms than he has furniture. Creamy wall-to-wall stretches across the second floor, which is mostly empty. To tell the truth, he's not sure if his wife, Miss Ernestine, has ever gone up there.
BOOKS
October 15, 1989 | Sonja Bolle
Robert Johnson is among the most influential--and most mythologized--of all the early blues singers. He recorded only two sessions before his death in 1938 (at age 27) at the hands of a jealous husband. A major source of inspiration to Muddy Waters as well as a generation of rock 'n' rollers, Johnson is known for a wrenching singing style that is reported to have left entire audiences in tears and for his adaptation of the "walking bass" style from boogie-woogie piano.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1989 | JUBE SHIVER Jr., Times Staff Writer
A few years after founding Washington-based Black Entertainment Television in 1980, owner Robert Johnson boasted that the nation's only black-owned cable network--then barely breaking even with B-movies and music videos--would be showing more costly dramatic series and soap operas "as early as 1986."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2004 | Randy Lewis, Times Staff Writer
Paying tribute to the man he considers his biggest influence, Eric Clapton is devoting an entire album to the music of blues legend Robert Johnson. But one question concerning "Me & Mr. Johnson," arriving March 23, is which Johnson Clapton is saluting: the mythical figure who, according to folklore, in rural Mississippi in the 1930s traded his soul for astonishing musical skills, or the real-world musician who was just trying to make a living.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2009 | Thomas Heath, Heath writes for the Washington Post.
Robert L. Johnson's rise to riches is one of those oft-told success tales in entrepreneurial circles. He was a lobbyist for the cable TV industry in the late 1970s when he persuaded communications mogul John Malone to invest in his idea for a television network targeted at African Americans. Thus was born Black Entertainment Television. Johnson sold BET to Viacom Inc. in 2000 for $3 billion, becoming the nation's first black billionaire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2006 | Adam Bernstein, Washington Post
Robert Lockwood Jr., a Delta blues guitarist who became the torchbearer of Robert Johnson's guitar legacy and a revered musician in his own right, died Tuesday at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. He was 91 and had suffered a brain aneurysm and a stroke. Few guitarists had the enduring mystique of Johnson, a hard-living, hard-loving musician who created soulful blues landmarks before his death at 27 from poisoned whiskey.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2006 | Richard Cromelin
David Bowie, Cream, Merle Haggard, Robert Johnson, Jessye Norman, Richard Pryor and the Weavers have been named recipients of the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors "lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium," the academy said Tuesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2005 | Randy Lewis
Eric Clapton "Back Home" (Reprise) * * * IN the press information accompanying his first album of new material in five years, Clapton notes that while recording these songs he and the other musicians would clear their heads periodically by working up a Robert Johnson blues tune. The most tangible outgrowth of that practice was last year's "Me and Mr. Johnson" album.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2005 | Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles jury has awarded $20 million to an 85-year-old man who said he was forced to retire as chief physician and surgeon at Lancaster state prison because of his age. The award included $1.6 million in past and future lost earnings, an indication that jurors believed a plaintiff's expert who testified at trial that Dr. Robert Johnson could have worked until he was 96.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2005
* Robert Johnson, who built BET into the leading TV network for black Americans, said he would retire in January. Debra Lee, the company's president and chief operating officer, will assume Johnson's CEO role. * Walt Disney Co. had its long-term credit rating raised to A-minus from BBB-plus by Standard & Poor's. Disney had $13.2 billion of debt as of April 2. * Boeing Co.
NEWS
January 29, 1997 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The path of 16-year-old Robert Johnson seemed all but certain to lead him to the place he finds himself now: a Milwaukee jail, charged in absentia with shooting teenager Corie Williams to death on an MTA bus. Life pushed Robert part of the way; the other steps he took on his own. He was 2 when his father went to prison for murder, leaving his mother alone to rear Robert, an older brother and eventually five more boys in South-Central Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1995 | Denise Hamilton, Denise Hamilton is an occasional contributor to Calendar
Robert Johnson--King of the Delta Blues, guitar marvel, womanizer, hobo, pact-maker with the devil--has never been more popular than today, more than half a century after his premature death in 1938 at age 27. The illegitimate son of a Mississippi Delta sharecropper left a legacy of only 29 recordings, but that music, including such tunes as "Hellhound on My Trail" and "Me and the Devil Blues," has fascinated and inspired generations of musicians and fans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 2005 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Robert Johnson could have easily chosen to stay home after high school. He was surrounded by family and friends in his hometown of Seaside, Calif., and in line to take over his family's heating and air-conditioning business. In every way, he was set up to lead a comfortable life. He chose a military life instead, enlisting in the Army at 18 and going first to Korea, then Iraq. "He wanted to serve his country," said his father, Peter Johnson of Castro Valley, Calif.
NATIONAL
June 2, 2004 | Ellen Barry, Times Staff Writer
Inside the pink brick estate he built with a blues fortune, 72-year-old Claud Johnson cannot shake the habits he formed when he was a poor man. Three years after moving in, he still has more rooms than he has furniture. Creamy wall-to-wall stretches across the second floor, which is mostly empty. To tell the truth, he's not sure if his wife, Miss Ernestine, has ever gone up there.
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