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Roots of Blind Willie Johnson
by Max Haymes
(converted to web format from the original old typescript by Alan White)

This essay was originally produced by Max Haymes in 2004. The original document was typed as a paper document incorporating numerous footnotes at the bottom of many pages. To replicate the essay as a web based document the footnotes have been placed at the appropriate place in the text, using square brackets and 10 point font.  We hope you all enjoy it.

Alan White and Max Haymes, 6th January 2011


I will split this feature into two parts. Initially, all the songs that Johnson later recorded (sometimes under different titles) will be listed and discussed briefly to illustrate a chronological sequence in the form of date of issue (or not as the case may be). Part 2 will consider in more detail any possible influences on Blind Willie via the melody, vocal style and lyrics. References to relevant recordings made after Johnson's will appear from time to time, in both Parts 1 and 2. Finally, in the summary I hope to conclude that there were indeed quite substantial number of songs and artists who influenced the Texas bottleneck guitar ace, forming an important factor in the roots of Blind Willie Johnson.

Part 1
- It's Nobody's Fault But Mine
Part 2
- If I Had My Way, I'd Tear This Buildin' Down
Part 3
- Coming soon
Bibliography - Coming soon


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Essay (this page) Copyright 2004 Max Haymes. All rights reserved.
For further information please email: alan.white@earlygospel.com