;

Blues



  • The Baddest Man in Town

    by Eric McHenry

    Writer Eric McHenry recounts picking up the documentary trail (started in the 1970s by John Russell David) of the notorious "Stagger Lee" Shelton, whose reign of terror in early 20th century St. Louis became immortalized in song and legend.



  • The Devil Had Nothing to Do With It

    by Greil Marcus

    The music writer looks at three recent books on the Mississippi blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson, looking to pull his story out of the realm of myth. 



  • A Song That Changed Music Forever

    by David Hajdu

    With “Crazy Blues,” Mamie Smith opened the door to a surge of powerfully voiced female singers who defied the conventions of singerly gentility to make the blues a popular phenomenon in the 1920s.



  • Exclusive First Look at New Photograph of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

    Even if he didn’t sell his soul at the Crossroads, the massively influential Mississippi guitarist remains shrouded in mystery. An upcoming memoir from his 94-year-old stepsister brings new depth to Johnson’s mythos—and the third verified picture of him in existence.