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Boys, I heard what you were doing up there, and I want you to keep playing those new notes - Comment from Bill Monroe to a youthful Russ Barenberg and John Miller, backstage at the Delaware Bluegrass Festival in 1973, after having heard the band they were in, Country Cooking, play a set

Author Topic: New Robert Johnson photo?  (Read 2792 times)

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Offline ZigZagWanderer

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New Robert Johnson photo?
« on: December 22, 2015, 08:55:20 AM »
http://www.mysanantonio.com/enterta...ed-6703035.php?cmpid=fb-desktop#photo-9125991


A newly-analyzed photo purportedly shows Robert Johnson, the mysterious blues legend whose meager recordings became a groundwork for American popular music.

Only two such photos have been unequivocally confirmed, and the prospect of another is held as a holy grail in blues society.

 


Offline jrn

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 10:33:33 AM »
I really wish Mrs Gibson would stop. This is getting ridiculous.
Quitman, Mississippi

Offline dj

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 01:15:58 PM »
1:  There's a supposedly authenticated photo of Calletta Craft in the booklet that came with the first release of the RJ Complete recordings CD set.  The photo there looks NOTHING like the woman identified as Calletta in the article linked above.  Different chin, different nose - you wouldn't mistake the woman in the linked photo for Calletta Craft at a distance of 110 yards in twilight.

2:  RJ married Calletta in 1931 and the marriage lasted only a few years.  Calletta was apparently several years in Johnson's past when he met Robert Lockwood and Lockwood's mother.  So it's really doubtful that Lockwood and Calletta Craft ever sat at the same table together with Robert Johnson.

3:  It's truly amazing how many people who were convicted and placed on death row on the testimony of "recognized experts" have later been exonerated by DNA or other evidence.

1+2+3=Wishing don't make it so.   

Offline dj

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2015, 01:39:38 PM »
I guess I should add a fourth point to my previous post, one that most people don't think of but that's pretty obvious once you do think of it:  There's a selection bias in the work of "recognized experts".  They're essentially independent contractors, trying to make a living, and getting hired for repeat jobs means pleasing the person who's hired them.  So if the hirer wants to prove he's got a photo of Robert Johnson, the expert, if she ever wants to work for that hirer or his friends, family, and acquaintances again, will find that it is indeed a photo of Mr. Johnson.  Think of how it works in criminal cases: there are experts who always work for the prosecution and testify the way the prosecution wants, and there are others who always work for the defense.  I'm not saying that Ms. Gibson consciously had an outcome in mind when she started to ID the photo, but you need to be aware that the pressure is there, whether overtly or subconsciously.     

Offline Stuart

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 02:29:17 PM »
This reminds me of the old saying variously applied that ends, "in the worst way."

Here's my take on it:

When someone starts out wanting to believe that it is a photo of RJ in the worst way, they usually end up believing that it is a photo of RJ in the worst way.

Offline uncle bud

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New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 03:15:51 PM »
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 03:19:38 PM by uncle bud »

Offline jrn

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2015, 03:39:06 PM »
Wow! Very interesting.

Looks like she's a bullshit artist to me. It's scary to think that she's top dog in her field.
Quitman, Mississippi

Offline Stuart

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 03:44:30 PM »
I'm considered by some to be a world class nose blower, but then you have to consider the field.   :P

Offline frankie

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2015, 04:30:37 PM »
This is getting ridiculous.

We didn't pass "ridiculous" a while ago? Dear me, I've not been paying much attention on this ride.

Offline harriet

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 04:34:09 PM »
She's a clever girl. Gotten a lot of publicity and collected some tidy fees lending her authority as a forensic sketch artist to document these photos for sales purpose. She's got one out on Jesse James killer Robert Ford as well. Nice cottage industry for her.

Perhaps IMHO the scholar community should make a legal inquiry as to whether there is a case against her for her participation in creating a hoax for sales purposes or as a nuisance to the community of legitimate scholarly researchers.

This is the third one from her in 2 years, and on this one there's no mouth or chin for comparison.



Offline Stuart

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2015, 05:26:06 PM »
The problem, Harriet, is where do you take her to task? There was a thread at the now defunct IGS site that did this (you might have even participated in it), but I don't think the posts went beyond the IGS site. As I said in another thread here, "The problem is the objective verification of the accuracy of her conclusions with respect to the identity of the people in the photos."  Writing a one paragraph contra piece (that's all it would take) in Vanity Fair or anywhere else for that matter (if it were to get published), would IMHO fall on deaf ears. People who want to believe that her opinion is fact aren't going to have their minds changed. To paraphrase a quote attributed to John Fahey, "Most of the world runs on bullshit--so go straight for the bullshit and milk it for all that it's worth." --Which some people have obviously done.

Offline harriet

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2015, 05:54:11 PM »
Those are good points Stuart. 

I think it's an appropriate activity for the people who are involved in legitimate validation of valuable photos of historical figures with some authority in that area  such as the Jesse James family and in Robert Johnson's case the blues historians to present their side not just on disputing the setting and facial details, such as there are in this, of the the fakes but to expose the difference between what she is doing and credible documentation. Whether or not people listen, the info is there if they should ever want.

Hopefully just the association of hoax with her name on an internet search as the story circulates will help discourage her - though I doubt anyone would fall for yet another one of her photoshop miracles -and make it less attractive to use her services in this area for sales purposes.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 06:05:00 PM by harriet »

Offline CF

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2015, 10:11:41 AM »
This obviously 'fake' photo (in that it is not RJ) was mentioned & scoffed at in this piece from May which focuses on the 'Vanity Fair' phoney RJ/Johnny Shines photo

http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/49-experts-agree-that-third-photo-of-robert-johnson-is-not-authentic/
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline eric

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2015, 11:28:55 AM »
In an incredible coincidence, I also recently uncovered another photo of Robert
--
Eric

Offline dj

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Re: New Robert Johnson photo?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2015, 01:41:37 PM »
Quote
In an incredible coincidence, I also recently uncovered another photo of Robert

Who, the guy on the left with the cigar?  Looks more like Roosevelt Sykes to me.   :P

 


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