November 24, 2011

San Antonio and the Blues

I heard this yesterday and thought it worth sharing. A great story about Robert Johnson, legendary Delta blues guitarist who, though dead by 1938 at the age of 27, would come to influence the likes of ZZ Top, Cream, the Stones, and on and on. I loved the story not least because, as a lover of the blues, I appreciate the history that the Gunter Hotel, located just a few miles away in downtown San Antonio, played in hosting a recording of such tremendous impact... one that would come to play a pivotal role in Rock 'n Roll.
"75 years ago, Johnson walked into the Gunther [sic] Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. He had been brought there by Ernie Oertle, an executive with the American Record Company, which had refashioned a hotel room into a makeshift studio. The company had brought people from all over the country to record, and the range of artists in the hotel that day was startling. Blues musician and writer Scott Ainslie lists them: "Gospel musicians, polka bands, string bands. 
"Johnson's session was sandwiched between a hillbilly band and a group of sisters who played Spanish guitar music," Ainslie says. Johnson walked into the recording room and settled down, facing into a corner. He tuned up his guitar and began to play."
Now, back in the kitchen and get to cooking. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Robert Johnson from Big Flea on Vimeo.


tintin said...

Nice one. Great video. My college roomie wrote the screenplay, Crossroads, with Ralph Machiao and an amazing Ry Cooder soundtrack. Nice to know some folk even know who Robert Johnson was. That man at the crossroads.

Amatourist said...

Ry Cooder, fantastic. You just wrote the score for my Saturday morning. And none too soon… I needed to replace Arlo Guthrie two days ago.