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The Devil, The Crossroads & Robert Johnson

May 31, 2021
This video is sponsored by Skillshare for a limited time. Use the link in the description to get a free trial of Skillshare Premium. There's an old blues legend that says something like this if a man wants to learn to play the guitar like no other, all he needs is. What he must do is find his way to the

crossroads

, if he waits there until midnight, the

devil

will appear and offer to tune his guitar. Once the act is completed, the man will be able to touch whatever he wants and for this small favor the

devil

will ask him in return.
the devil the crossroads robert johnson
It is the soul of the man who now sells his soul to the devil is nothing new in music as I explored it many years ago today, however, we will see a different angle on this legend, the place where the deal is made with all the marks that humans Crossroads are among the simplest and most enduring monuments, they change around the world and buildings rise and fall, but there are small changes at

crossroads

, no matter where you go and as long as humans Let's organize them into towns and cities, the crossroads will remain and so will the legends of their dark powers and the strange spirits that occupy them, let's take a closer look at the story of the crossroads we know best was probably told for the first time. once by tommy

johnson

, known for his whaling yoda, but then through the strange tides of history and myth. making the crossing was closely associated with another blues singer,

robert

johnson

, these two musicians helped turn the crossing into an iconic piece of blues tradition, but the blues is not the only culture with traditions built around the crossing, cultures of In fact, many of the crossroads of Europe and Asia were first paved by the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago and the stories of the dark rituals performed at those crossroads are as old as the Greek goddess of crosses.
the devil the crossroads robert johnson

More Interesting Facts About,

the devil the crossroads robert johnson...

Called Hekate she is said to have ruled the boundaries and entrances and, as the myth of her evolved, she became closely linked with witchcraft in later depictions of Hekate. She is sometimes described as holding keys to the underworld in her hands. This version of the goddess rules a liminal space. the transition from the known to the great unknown beyond in a sense, this is what crossroads often represent. It is said that you are at a crossroads in life when it comes time to make a big decision and before modern technology, many people only saw crossroads. When traveling on long journeys far from the safety and comfort of home in those days, the crossroads were a meeting place, a place where you could have encounters with those who came from strange places beyond and that is the role that crossroads play in Haitian voodoo. religion that mixes Roman Catholic influences with West African spiritual traditions in Haitian voodoo there is an almighty god but you can only talk to him through spirits known as loa if one wants to communicate with the loa you must first talk to papa legba, who is the crossroads loa this mythology made its way north from haiti when transportation was established in louisiana in the late 18th century when these caribbean populations spread many of the voodoo magical traditions known as hudu took hold throughout the southern united states and this hudu may be the origin of the crossroads myth as we know it today in deep blues musicologist

robert

palmer identifies tommy johnson's crossroads story with the legba myth the legba of voodoo was influenced by eshu, a trickster god in the Yoruba traditions of West Africa and that trickster identity is one that Tommy Johnson also adopted Palmer says that Johnson used to carry around a rabbit's foot and perform wild stunts on stage relying on this mystical identity Tommy Johnson gained a certain level of popularity and notoriety thanks to the mythology he created around him, but his legend would soon disappear eclipsed by another Robert Johnson as someone who lived poor and died young, most of Robert Johnson's life is shrouded in mystery, even the few photos What we have of the man were unearthed long after his death, as a result, most of what we know about Johnson actually comes from the 1960s after Columbia Records released Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues singers, that record attracted Johnson's talent was brought to the attention of a new generation of musicians that included Bob Dylan Keith Richards Eric Clapton Peter Green and many more.
the devil the crossroads robert johnson
By the time Johnson became known in the mainstream his myth had already had decades to grow and warp, it seems possible that The myth of Johnson the Crossroads was born from a pure accident; Information was much less accessible back then and it's easy to see how a young blues enthusiast could combine the stories of Tommy Johnson, who sold his soul on the Crossroads, and Robert Johnson, who sings Crossroad Blues, but what we know about the Johnson's life helps play into the crossroad mythology, Johnson spent most of his life on the road and died at age 27 and then of course. there is the infamous story that the bluesman's son house tells about robert johnson house says that johnson followed him and willie brown making a fuss with his guitar and driving people crazy, then one day johnson disappeared and when he came back he was playing the guitar like nobody.
the devil the crossroads robert johnson
He had never seen a story as compelling as this. Some details are omitted that we now know that when Johnson disappeared it was because he went to Martinsville, where he met his mentor, Ike Zimmerman. Zimmerman was a blues guitarist who had his own piece of dark mythology in there. There were rumors that he learned to play guitar by practicing in cemeteries at midnight. Whatever the truth about Zimmerman, we know that he helped turn Robert Johnson into a legend who would shape music history. Johnson is seen today as the grandfather of rock and roll and that comes.
Not only for its virtuosity but also for its mythology, for much of its history, rock has been an affront to social conservatism and that is why it has been labeled the music of the evil devil. As a result, many musicians who followed in Johnson's footsteps have played with occult imagery in their music. Johnson's song set an early precedent for this. Some of its lyrics contained references to voodoo magic. In Hellhound on My Trail, Johnson sings about sprinkling hot talcum powder. for the feet at your door this is a voodoo tradition meant to protect you from unwanted visitors the desperation of that song helps Playing with the myth of the devil Johnson would have you believe that the reason he travels so much is because he is running from the devil, but There's another, darker specter that looms over Blue's music and can help us contextualize much of Robert Johnson's tormented life in much of the Delta. blues musicians were only a generation or two removed from slavery, and the scars it had left on the land and its people were still fresh.
A story of hellhounds chasing someone might seem fantastical now, but for someone whose father or grandfather was a runaway slave, the image of being chased by dogs took on a much more real meaning. Robert Johnson's most iconic song takes on new meaning when he puts it through this lens. Crossroad Blues never mentions any kind of deal with the devil, except for the first take of the song. mentions the sunset when seen through the lens of hudu and deals with the devil. This speaks to the beginning of the night and the dark magic that accompanies it, but for generations of black Americans, the sunset also carried another meme after the abolition of slavery thousands of American cities became what is known as sundown towns.
They got this name because of the signs they put up warning that anyone who was not white had to be out of town before sunset under the implied threat of violence or death and it was not just the cities, some counties and even the entire state of Oregon. they prohibited black Americans from settling. Sunset Towns existed before Johnson was born and were still around when it had its posthumous revival in the 1960s for a traveling bluesman like Robert Johnson. Down posed the threat of something far more tangible than the devil's lynching, and just as Johnson's haunted music still looms over rock to this day, the violent world he lived in is still embedded in the lineage of so many. crossroads of the south, but there is one more factor that influences. at robert johnson's crossroads before he supposedly sold his soul to the devil robert johnson married a woman named virginia travis they lived together on a farm until she became pregnant and decided to travel to her home in penton where her family could take care of her when the time came. so travis could have his baby johnson slung his guitar on his back and traveled down the road to meet her when he arrived in penton johnson expected to be greeted by his wife and new son, instead he was greeted by his family, who informed him that both virginia and the baby had died in childbirth, her family scolded johnson saying that he should have been by her side and not playing the devil's music. this tragedy is present in much of johnson's music, especially in the crossroads blues, in one way or another, crossroads represent transition and change may be the cruelties of fate and tragedy, movement across a landscape or the transition from one world to the next crossroads will always be a liminal space , something that stood on the path to bigger or darker destinies when tommy johnson told his story and when robert johnson sang about the crossing of paths, neither of them could have known the monumental changes they were about to bring about because the crossroads and the delta blues they helped create were not the final destination, but are a key milestone in the incredible journey that brought rock and roll and in doing so changed the world forever, if the legends are to be believed, Selling your soul to the devil is one way to achieve greatness on the guitar, but honestly, it's probably not the most pragmatic if you want to learn to play the guitar without taking the risk. from damning your eternal soul a great place to start is skills sharing my friend mike boyd has a fantastic skills sharing class on guitar fundamentals in 12 short lessons.
He will teach you everything you need to know to get you on the path to guitar greatness, but maybe you already know how to play the guitar, if that's the case, there are many more courses to choose from and there are always new courses on the way. One that I think almost everyone could benefit from is Liab Doll's new productivity master class, that class will teach you. Some essential skills to help you get your life in order and make the most of your time. Honestly, skill sharing is a fantastic place for self-improvement, whether it's advancing your career, finding a new hobby, or just learning something for fun if you want.
Have something you've been looking for why not give Skillshare a try. The first thousand people to click the link in the description will get a free trial of Skillshare and after that it will cost less than ten dollars a month. Skillshare is really great. resource for self-improvement and checking it out helps a lot to support my channel, so follow the link in the description to let them know I sent you and get a free trial so you can start learning whatever you want. learn thanks for watching

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