Story of the bluesman, the Devil, and the deal at the crossroads, as retold in Stephen Davis's Hammer of the Gods.
In the delta of the Mississippi River, where Robert Johnson was born, they said that if an aspiring bluesman waited by the side of a deserted country crossroads in the dark of a moonless night, then Satan himself might come and tune his guitar, sealing a pact for the bluesman's soul and guaranteeing a lifetime of easy money, women, and fame. They said that Robert Johnson must have waited by the crossroads and gotten his guitar fine-tuned.
Highway 61 intersects with Highway 49 aka the Crossroads
"I went down to the crossroads and fell down on my knees, asked the Lord up above for mercy, save poor Bob if you please." --Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson
"You may bury my body down by the highway side so my old evil spirit can get a Greyhound bus and ride." --Me And The Devil Blues by Robert Johnson
"If you want to learn to play anything you want to play and learn how to make songs yourself, you take your guitar and you go to where a crossroads is. A big black man will walk up there at the stroke of midnight and take your guitar, and he'll tune it..." --LeDell Johnson
Robert Johnson’s life is a blend of folklore and mystery. His life is engulfed in myth and legend; adding the myth is his haunting lyrics. And his impressive, innovative country guitar style; you can quickly see why he is known by many as the father of the Delta Bues. Robert Johnson’s guitar playing was the beginning of the his legend. Robert was heavily influenced originally by Son House and Charley Patton, but Johnson quickly found his own style with unique chord movements and note progressions. Robert traveled throughout the Deep South in the 1930’s playing anywhere the train happened to take him. Son House had known Robert when he began to learn to play. House went on the road and did not see Robert for three or four years, and when Son and Johnson finally did meet again, House was astounded by Robert’s impressive guitar playing....but....
Just how did Robert learn to play so well so fast?
Robert Johnson was a Mississippi blues singer and songwriter, who according to legend, sold his soul to Satan "at the crossroads" in exchange for his remarkable talent on the guitar.....