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The Search for Robert Johnson (1992)

A UK television documentary film about the legendary Delta blues musician Robert Johnson.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hammond ...
Gayle Dean Wardlow ...
Himself - Blues Researcher
Robert Burton McCormick ...
Himself - Blues Expert (as Robert Burton 'Mack' McCormick)
Wink Clark ...
Himself - Interviewee
Nat Richardson ...
Himself - Interviewee
Willie Mae Powell ...
Herself - Girlfriend
Honeyboy Edwards ...
Himself - Blues Player (as David 'Honeyboy' Edwards)
Johnny Shines ...
Himself - Blues Player
Claude Johnson ...
Himself - Interviewee
G.C. Johnson ...
Himself (as Gregory Johnson)
David Jordan ...
Himself - Greenwood Councillor
Miller Carter ...
Himself - Cemetery Attendant


A UK television documentary film about the legendary Delta blues musician Robert Johnson.

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Did You Know?


Terraplane Blues
Written by Robert Johnson
Performed by Robert Johnson
© Copyright King of Spades Music USA 1978, 1990, 1991.
Used by permission.
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User Reviews

Great bio-doc effort
18 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A very good bio-doc effort to untangle the life and myths of blues legend Robert Johnson. This is a challenging task, as not a lot is known about Johnson except through his music and through lore. There is speculation at times, but this is inevitable. It still uncovers a lot, from his rejection by his family (blues was the work of the devil) to the darkness of his lyrics and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

I would have preferred the original music of Johnson, but narrator John Hammond does a very satisfactory job in his renditions. Relatively minor players "Honeyboy" Edwards and Johnny Shines give classic delta blues performances that stand out. Appearances by Eric Clapton and Keith Richards help to emphasize Johnson's lasting impact on blues and rock.

Johnson was never interviewed, and his performance was never captured on film. Beside his music, all that are left are oral accounts, peppered by exaggeration and myth. An accurate, objective bio may be impossible to achieve. But The Search for Robert Johnson comes about as close as might be expected, and has great entertainment value as well.

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