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I don't think the average person can come along and play (the blues), because they don't understand the breaks in it... a guy that makes 'em hisself, he knows where the breaks is - Son House, Frets magazine

Author Topic: Robert Johnson Travels  (Read 672 times)

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Offline Randy Meadows

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  • Randy Meadows
Robert Johnson Travels
« on: June 01, 2014, 04:06:16 PM »
I've read many times about Robert Johnson traveling as far as New York and Canada playing music in the 1930s.

How do we know that? Has anyone ever found any ads or handbills from these shows? Do we have any specific dates as to locations and shows?
randymeadows@ymail.com
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Offline TonyGilroy

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 01:08:12 AM »

Are there ads or handbills for any pre war blues musicians who were not playing theatres or the more established clubs?

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 03:56:06 AM »
I seem to remember that Johnny Shines was the source of that info, Randy.

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Offline Randy Meadows

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  • Randy Meadows
Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 05:05:25 AM »
Thanks. I'd love to get a timeframe of a location and check the newspapers for that area....
I found a few articles in Greenville Ms but I can't be sure it's the same RJ...
I guess Helena, Dallas, and San Antonio would be a good search area for articles...
randymeadows@ymail.com
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Offline jpeters609

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 06:49:44 AM »
Randy,
You might want to try Hot Springs, as well. A Melody Maker article by John Hammond in 1937 (or so) mentions Robert Johnson as the "Hot Springs star" who works as a farmhand in Robinsonville, MS. This was quoted in Peter Guralnick's "Searching For Robert Johnson." Being a tourist destination, there may have been more marketing materials and ads in Hot Springs than elsewhere. And Hammond's quote would seem to indicate that Johnson was playing there with some regularity.
Jeff

Offline Randy Meadows

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 07:54:14 AM »
Thanks Jeff!
randymeadows@ymail.com
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Offline GhostRider

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 11:51:42 AM »
In the (extensive, 40 p.) liner notes to Calvin Frazer's "This Old World's in a Tangle" CD interviews with Calvin reveal much about RJ's travels with Calvin and JS in this period.

Alex

Offline tinpanallygurl

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 10:32:01 AM »
Stephen Calt told me that Mack McCormick has the most detailed collection of different places Johnson played, the aliases used in specific locations, who traveled with him to certain places, and much much more.  If Calt is to be believed Mack has accounts of him leaving his playing partners in the middle of the night to travel solo, and when it happened to specific musicians.  Even if you saw it you couldn't do anything about it.  Like you said, "because it is that collector's livelihood and hard work and reputation that would be violated."  Good luck Randy but this endeavor will likely die a very sad death since he never hands over his RJ information.  Some other collectors have some of this information also according to Calt but they are tied to books about RJ that have been in the works for over a decade that will likely never see the light of day.  If books aren't finished when someone is in their 50s and 60s the likelihood of it happening when they are in their 70s and 80s isn't good.  Not good at all.

Offline wreid75

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Re: Robert Johnson Travels
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 10:38:34 AM »
We might all age like Tom Hanks character Paul Edgecomb from the Green Mile and live long enough to see it. >:D

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