Tommy Johnson (1896-1956)
Heroes of the Blues Trading Tees Card #34
Art by R. Crumb Text by Stephen Calt
An outstanding vocalist whose trademark falsetto was widely copied, Tommy Johnson was born around 1896 near Terry, Mississippi. He took up music around 1914 and was influenced by Delta performer Charley Patton, although his guitar playing was far more ragged than his mentor's. Johnson's travels made him a familiar figure throughout the Mississippi Delta. Between 1928 and 1930, he recorded eleven sides, including the popular "Big Road Blues." He died in 1956. Tommy Johnson was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1986.
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