This story depicts are very common theme amoung secular music stars--Dr. J.

Story written by Alyne Pustanio

The story of Robert J ohnson and his infamous crossroads deal with the devil – in which
he traded his immortal soul for musical genius – is deeply ingrained in the mythology
and legend of the rural South and is one of the best-known tales of American folklore.

Young Robert J ohnson, a struggling musician trying to make a living and a name for
himself in Depression-era Mississippi is said to have journeyed to the crossroads in
order to barter with the devil for the fame and fortune he desired. He knew the price
would be high – and it was, indeed – but this seemed to matter little for what he got in
exchange: Robert J ohnson is called the King of the Delta and is considered by many to
be the father of the blues. The contribution he made to music in his brief lifetime can
never be debated, but J ohnson never lived to enjoy his fame: the Devil didn’t wait long
to collect on his due.

“I went to the crossroad
Fell down on my knees,
I went to the crossroad
Fell down on my knees;
Asked the Lord above,
Have mercy now,
Save poor Bob, if you please.”

-- Robert J ohnson’s “Crossroad
Robert J ohnson was born in Hazelhurst, Mississippi on May 8, 1911, the illegitimate son
of J ulia Dodd and Noah J ohnson. But he would never know his father – Noah J ohnson
quickly disappeared from his infant son’s life.

J ulia Dodd and her young son moved often as she searched for work in various parts of
the south; when she finally took employment in a plantation home near Robinsonville,
Mississippi, Robert, still a young boy, went to work in the nearby cotton fields. Together,
he and his mother could barely earn a living to get by and Robert took comfort in music,
picking out tunes on a guitar he had found on a trash heap.

At seventeen Robert J ohnson married his childhood sweetheart, Virginia Travis, but
their happiness was doomed to be short lived. Within a year of their marriage, in April
1930, Virginia died in childbirth. J ohnson was distraught with grief and from the time he
put his Virginia into the ground he was constantly on the move, devoting all his time,
thought and energy to music.

While traveling throughout the South over the next few years, J ohnson never ceased
work on developing his skills. He often spoke of how he and his friend, Willie Brown,
would get drunk on moonshine and go out to the nearby cemetery where they would sit
on the tombstones all night, strumming guitar and composing dark melodies. J ohnson
was never formally trained to read music but could play almost anything “by ear” and he
often imitated the styles of other Delta musicians of the time. It is said that he learned
the bottleneck slide guitar technique from watching guitarist Son House play; from this,
J ohnson developed his own signature style. Over the next several years J ohnson often
performed in roadhouses and juke joints throughout the South alongside fellow
musicians such as Charlie Patton and Sonny Boy Williamson, becoming locally quite
well-known. But J ohnson had ambition as well as talent and he knew that he could be a
lot more than just a “big fish in a little pond.” He set out to make himself famous.

Many of what come down as “facts” about the life of Robert J ohnson end up being part
of a larger legend that seems to have woven itself around the man, giving him a status
of almost mythic proportion and a star-crossed life, apparently, to go along with that.
Some speculate that other musicians of lesser talent who traveled the circuit with
J ohnson were jealous of his skills and many point to these naysayers as the source of
the entire J ohnson myth saying that J ohnson suffered from such a lack of talent that he
would “gladly sell his soul” just to be able to play poorly. There are others, however,
considered friends by J ohnson or who were fortunate enough to see him perform, who
knew J ohnson to be a powerhouse even in his green years on the Delta circuit. If this is
so, then why would a man of talent, who could achieve his goals through plain hard
work, even consider selling his soul to the Devil?
“Go on, Robert J ohnson: Yo is de
King of the Delta Blues. Go on
home to Rosedale. And when yo
gets on up in town, yo get yo a
plate of dem hot tamales
because yo’s goin’ to be needin’
somethin’ on yo stomach where
yo is headed.”

-- The Devil to Robert J ohnson

Some have said that it wasn’t talent that eluded Robert J ohnson, but rather, fame and
with it fortune: J ohnson wasn’t satisfied unless he could have it all.

But, according to many, J ohnson was not satisfied with his own musical abilities,
despite the encouragement and reassurance of all who heard him play. He felt he
needed to be more talented to really achieve the kind of success and fame he so
desired. Already disillusioned with faith and angry with God for having taken his wife
and unborn child, drinking heavily, full of despair, J ohnson remembered one way he
might gain everything he wanted in one fell swoop.

It is well known in the folklore of the American south, as it is throughout Europe,
that the crossing of two roads or the intersection of three at one place was an
especially evil place, a place where the fabric of the natural world often broke
down allowing the dark denizens of the unseen realms to cross over into the
world of men. The belief was long held among Europeans and cultures of the
Near East where altars were erected at crossroads to satiate the appetites of the
evil spirits that such an in-between place attracted. In latter times these altars
were usually marked with some image of the Christian faith, perhaps a crucifix or
a statue of the beloved Virgin. In earlier, wilder times, the altars would be
drenched in blood and covered with offerings such as the carcasses of black
puppies and cats, crow feathers and boiled eggs, favorites of the Witch Goddess
Hecate who used crossroads to enter into and harry this world. In more recent
history, crossroads became the places of executions with large trees nearby
performing the task of a makeshift gallows. Gallows were also erected at
crossroads and even into modern times those who had died by suicide or
otherwise “ outside the faith” were often buried at crossroads in unmarked
graves, their souls committed to the keepers of the realms of the unholy dead.

In the rural Delta the crossroads was a bad place where those who practiced
voodoo would go to “ work” their victims; those in search of the hoodoo man
would often be told to meet him at a crossroads, such was the potency of the
location in collective folk memory. It was a place of black cats and rabid dogs, of
black magic and evil intentions, and in the rural South of the early 20th century,
next to hell itself, the crossroads was the best place to meet the Devil.

Beatrice, she got a phonograph
and it won't say a lonesome word
Beatrice, she got a phonograph
and it won't say a lonesome word
What evil have I done
what evil has the poor girl heard
Beatrice I love my phonograph
but you have broke my windin
Beatrice I love my phonogra-ooo
honey you have broke my windin
And you've taken my lovin
and give it to your other man
Now we played it on the sofa now
we played it side the wall
My needles have got rusty babe
they will not play at all
Now we played it on the sofa
we played it side the wall
My needles have got rusty
and it will not play at all
Beatrice I go crazy
baby I will lose my mind
And I go crazeeeee
honey I will lose my mind
Why dont-ya bring your clothes
back home
and try me one more time
She got a phonograph
and it won't say a lonesome word
She got a phonograph
ooo-won't say a lonesome word
What evil have I done

or what evil have the poor girl
According to all accounts, on a windy October night Robert Johnson headed
down to the crossroads on the south end of Rosedale, Mississippi, where
Highway 8 intersects with Highway 1. With nothing but his guitar to keep him
company, Johnson sat down on a roadside stone and began to strum; soon he
was playing a mournful tune. Within a short time, as clouds began to obscure the
yellow light of the full October moon, Johnson became aware of the smell of
something burning, like acrid wood smoke or the smell that rises from the tip of a
burnt out match head. Johnson played on, now too frightened to do anything
else. Suddenly it became clear to him that he wasn’t alone. There reached around
from behind him then a burly arm covered in a ratty, brown and yellow plaid suit
coat sleeve, with huge red stone cufflinks holding a starched white cuff taut
against a huge black hand.

“ Why, dis ain’t nuthin’ but outta tune, boy,” said a deep, hoarse voice that echoed
all around the middle of nowhere. “ Lemme tune dat up for yo!”

Johnson heard the squeaking of the guitar strings along the frets, sounding as if
those big black hands were torturing them. But not once did he look around, and
he held his arms in mid-air as if the instrument was still across his knees and he
had not stopped playing.

Within minutes the guitar reappeared beside his head. Without looking, Johnson
reached up and took the instrument; just then, the wind blew up and from out of
nowhere a mangy black dog ran past him down the road.

“ Go ahead,” said the deep voice. “ Try it out …”

With shaking hands, Johnson settled the guitar in his lap and strummed. The
guitar responded in perfect, beautiful tune. But suddenly, to Johnson’s dismay,
he felt a face, seething heat and dripping sweat, come close up beside his own.

“ Yo knows de price, right boy?” said the booming voice, but it was lower now,
more threatening.

Johnson nodded his head feverishly and felt the presence draw away. “ Well, dat’s
all right, den!” it said from somewhere above his head, then, with a chuckle, it
was gone.
From that moment on Robert
Johnson played his instrument
with a style and pizzazz that
could make grown men cry and
women do practically anything
he wanted of them. His voice
moaned with the heaving sigh
of the damned or wailed like a
drowning cat, but it was all
good. Johnson emerged from
his meeting with the Devil a
changed man carrying the
heart of the Delta blues within
him – to all whose paths he
crossed, Robert Johnson WAS
the blues.

“Yo want to be de King o’ the Delta Blues and have all de whiskey and womens yo

“That’s a lot of whiskey and women, Devil-Man!”

By 1936 J ohnson’s fortunes were on the upswing. Don Law, a record producer for the
American Record Company who was anxious to record the blues maestro for his label,
approached him. Law offered J ohnson between $10 and $15 for each song he

The first sessions took place late in 1936 at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.
J ohnson played several of his own pieces and also reworked some songs by other
bluesmen; in all, seventeen songs were recorded in November of that year.

Police arrested J ohnson on vagrancy charges and threw him in jail while he was in San
Antonio; they beat him up and smashed his guitar. To keep them from beating him
further, a very likely scenario, J ohnson asked them to contact Law. The producer
showed up and provided a reason for J ohnson’s presence in town and posted his bail
that night. After one more recording session the next day, in which the fateful
“Crossroads Blues” track was finally laid, J ohnson left San Antonio and resumed his
vagabond life.

In J une 1937, J ohnson returned to Texas to work with Law at the Brunswick Records
Building in Dallas. J ohnson laid down twelve more songs and worked on a handful of
alternate versions of the songs from the previous sessions. As previously, J ohnson
received small compensation for his work and no royalties were arranged, however,
Law was already making plans to call J ohnson back into the studio for more sessions.

As fate – or something like it – would have it, J ohnson wouldn’t make that date. In fact,
Don Law never saw Robert J ohnson again. And J ohnson, it turned out, had a more
important date to keep.
“ My left hand will be forever wrapped around yo soul, and yo
music gonna possess all who hears it. Dat’s what’s
gonna happen! Dat’s what yo better be prepared fo!

Dis ain’t just any crossroads, Robert Johnson! I put dis X here for
a reason, an I been a’waitin’ on yo!”
J ust as the life of Robert J ohnson had been full of legend and contradiction, so the
circumstances of his death are still debated and in many ways remain uncertain.

Many sources agree that most probably the King of the Delta Blues met his end by
poisoning when, in a fit of jealous rage, the husband of an ex-girlfriend whom J ohnson
had been romancing sought his revenge.

After being run off by his old flame, J ohnson apparently caught up with musician Sonny
Boy Williamson and the two went drinking at a local juke joint. Williamson, recognizing
the spurned husband in the bar, warned J ohnson not to drink from an open bottle of
whiskey that had been placed on their table. But J ohnson was having none of it: he took
the bottle and drank the contents down.

Within a short time J ohnson was vomiting and suffering terrible convulsions, his tongue
swelled and blackened – all the hallmarks of strychnine poisoning. J ohnson finally died,
in horrible pain, on August 16, 1938 at the age of twenty-seven.
Even in death J ohnson
could find no rest and even
now the site of his actual
final resting place is still
debated among historians
and devotees. In Mississippi
there are two grave sites
bearing his name. J ust like
the location of J ohnson’s
crossroads, his final resting
place may never be known
for certain, although the
most likely contender is the
grave located in Quitto,
near Itta Bena, Mississippi.

“There is no understanding or defining the Delta Blues, but
experiencing the blues, feeling the blues…this occurs in Rosedale.
And when this occurs in Rosedale, you are riding in a Cadillac, top
down, with
Robert J ohnson at your side.
The source of the Delta Blues is [the] Crossroads in Rosedale.”

Without Robert J ohnson and the music of the Delta Blues much of the music we know
and love so well today would not exist. Certainly soul and R&B owe a tremendous debt
to J ohnson, but in every sense, rock and roll would not be rock and roll had J ohnson
never existed or made that sinister deal with the Devil. It may just be that J ohnson did
make that deal after all and some think that there is evidence existing today that proves

They call it the Crossroads Curse and there are those who point to this theory to prove
that the curse of J ohnson’s devilish bargain has had far-reaching and unexpected

It has been said by many that J ohnson never particularly liked the song, although he
obliged his record producer with at least three known versions. Nevertheless, modern
musicians who weren’t even born when J ohnson was walking the roads of the
Mississippi Delta have since learned to worship at the shrine of his talent and it is this
song – “Crossroad Blues” – in particular that is most associated with modern adaptation
as well as modern tragedy.

Popular rock musicians who have performed the song include Eric Clapton and Cream,
The Allman Brothers Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd; and Led Zeppelin has lifted several of
J ohnson’s more sexual allusions for use in their lyrics. The Crossroads Curse may have
touched even Kurt Cobain, the founder of Nirvana. Each of these bands has been the
target of intense professional and personal tragedies that make some wonder whether
the Devil isn’t still taking his payment all these long years later…

Eric Clapton and Cream recorded “Crossroad Blues” for their “Cream: Wheels of Fire”
LP at the height of their fame. Within a few short years, the band was disbanded and
Clapton was wallowing in the throes of heroin addiction. Years later, having cleaned up
his life and enjoying a profitable solo career, Clapton was tragically struck by the death
of his two year old son who fell from an apartment window to death several stories

The tragedy surrounding The Allman Brothers Band is practically legend in the annals of
rock and roll. At the height of their fame, in 1971, Duane Allman, who is said to have
loved performing “Crossroad Blues” live, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident at
another crossroads near Macon, Georgia where he swerved his motorcycle to avoid
hitting a truck. He died later from his injuries. J ust over a year later, in 1972, another
band member, guitarist Berry Oakley, was killed while riding his motorcycle; he died
less than a mile from the spot where Duane Allman had met his death. Though the band
soldiered on, Duane’s brother Gregg felt compelled to immortalize his brother’s
connection to a crossroads in the song “Melissa”:
The popular Alabama band Lynyrd Skynyrd added a cover version of Robert J ohnson’s
“Crossroad Blues” to their live performances. It’s raw power and driving rhythm were
something that every audience looked forward to and the crowds kept coming as the
band toured the south throughout 1976 and 1977. Then in October 1977, as the band
was flying from Greenville, SC to their next show at the L.S.U. Assembly Center their
aging Convair 240 lost an engine in mid-flight. The panicked crew lost control of the
plane when they mistakenly dumped all the fuel. Minutes later the plane plunged into a
swamp outside Gillsburg, Mississippi and broke into pieces. Both pilots, two of the
band’s members, including singer Ronnie Van Zant, and other relatives were killed in
the crash. What had been a promising future in rock music lay in pieces in a Mississippi

Led Zeppelin was famous for lapsing into treatments of many of Robert J ohnson’s blues
songs, including a riveting live version of “Crossroad Blues.” It is from J ohnson that
singer Robert Plant borrowed the famous lyrics for The Lemon Song, “squeeze my
lemon till the juice runs down my leg.” Arguably one of the best and most influential rock
bands ever, Led Zeppelin spent the 70’s defying gravity and riding their “lead balloon” to
super fame and fortune. Near the end of the 70’s, however, the band fell upon some
bad luck, triggered by the untimely death of Plant’s son to septic shock in 1977. Shortly
after this, amid rumors of black magic and sexual sadism, guitarist J immy Page was
battling his own demons trying to kick a monstrous heroin addiction. In the next several
years, Led Zeppelin would lose its drummer, the phenomenal J ohn Bonham, and the
manager who had guided them to supergroup status and beyond, the inimitable Peter

Finally, Kurt Cobain, the father of the grunge movement of the 1990’s, was said to have
performed his own acoustic version of “Crossroad Blues” while traveling with Nirvana
and for family and friends. Cobain considered reworking it for the band to play live and
was said to have been toying with recording a new version of the Robert J ohnson
classic when his life came to a tragic end. In April 1994 Cobain was found on the
second floor of his garage at his Washington state dead from a shotgun blast through
the head. The circumstances surrounding Cobain’s death are still the subject of hot
debate – with rival camps claiming that Cobain committed suicide and others claiming
that he was murdered in a conspiracy that centered around his wife, Courtney Love –
and it seems that the curse didn’t stop at Cobain’s death. Two people, one former
Cobain employee and a Seattle cop widely reviled for having botched the death site
investigation, have both followed Cobain to the grave.

“Step back, Devil-Man! I’m goin’ to Rosedale:

If you’re ever driving through the town of Rosedale, Mississippi, be sure to stop in at a
place called Leo’s Market. Besides serving good food and good talk, this is the home of
the Crossroads Blues Society, the keepers, if you will, of the Robert J ohnson
crossroads legend.

If you’re lucky, as one recent visitor was, one of the waitresses might show you
something. No, not that, but she may show you a curious, wrinkled, old, typewritten
transcript of someone’s “spiritual vision” about the truth about J ohnson’s barter with the
Devil of the crossroads. This vision, you will be told, was revealed to J ohnson’s fellow
bluesman Henry Goodman as he left Rosedale for Anguila. And there have been
reported sightings of what is believed to be J ohnson’s ghost – guitar over his shoulder –
walking the river road between Beulah and Rosedale.

Of course, some people
thereabouts will tell you that the
real crossroads where Robert
J ohnson gave away his soul is
located at the intersection of
US 61 and US 49 in
Clarksdale, Mississippi and this
is the location where many
blues fans go to pay their
respects to the Father of the
Delta Blues. Though this
seems at variance with the
account of the “spiritual vision”
that follows, it is worth stating
that, where great myths are
concerned, exactness is
somewhat less than a science.

It’s all about the “vision, with a V” as you will learn if you follow the path of Robert
J ohnson down that lonesome road.

Here, in its entirety, as published by the Crossroads Blues Society is the “vision, with a
V” of bluesman Henry Goodman:

“Meeting with the Devil at the Crossroads"

A ‘vision,’ as told by Henry Goodman
Robert J ohnson been playing down in Yazoo City and over at Beulah trying to get back
up to Helena, ride left him out on a road next to the levee, walking up the highway,
guitar in his hand propped up on his shoulder. October cool night, full moon filling up the
dark sky, Robert J ohnson thinking about Son House preaching to him, ‘Put that guitar
down, boy, you drivin' people nuts.’
Robert J ohnson needing as always a woman and some whiskey. Big trees all around,
dark and lonesome road, a crazed, poisoned dog howling and moaning in a ditch
alongside the road sending electrified chills up and down Robert J ohnson's spine,
coming up on a crossroads just south of Rosedale. Robert J ohnson, feeling bad and
lonesome, knows people up the highway in Gunnison. Can get a drink of whiskey and
more up there.

Man sitting off to the side of the road on a log at the crossroads says, ‘You're late,
Robert J ohnson.’

Robert J ohnson drops to his knees and says, ‘Maybe not.’

The man stands up, tall, barrel-chested, and black as the forever-closed eyes of Robert
J ohnson's stillborn baby, and walks out to the middle of the crossroads where Robert
J ohnson kneels. He says, ‘Stand up, Robert J ohnson. You want to throw that guitar
over there in that ditch with that hairless dog and go on back up to Robinsonville and
play the harp with Willie Brown and Son, because you just another guitar player like all
the rest, or you want to play that guitar like nobody ever played it before? Make a sound
nobody ever heard before? You want to be the King of the Delta Blues and have all the
whiskey and women you want?’

‘That's a lot of whiskey and women, Devil-Man.’

‘I know you, Robert J ohnson,’ says the man.

Robert J ohnson, feels the moonlight bearing down on his head and the back of his neck
as the moon seems to be growing bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. He feels
it like the heat of the noonday sun bearing down, and the howling and moaning of the
dog in the ditch penetrates his soul, coming up through his feet and the tips of his
fingers through his legs and arms, settling in that big empty place beneath his
breastbone causing him to shake and shudder like a man with the palsy. Robert
J ohnson says, ‘That dog gone mad.’

The man laughs. ‘That hound belong to me. He ain't mad, he's got the Blues. I got his
soul in my hand.’

The dog lets out a low, long soulful moan, a howling like never heard before, rhythmic,
syncopated grunts, yelps, and barks, seizing Robert J ohnson like a Grand Mal, and
causing the strings on his guitar to vibrate, hum, and sing with a sound dark and blue,
beautiful, soulful chords and notes possessing Robert J ohnson, taking him over,
spinning him around, losing him inside of his own self, wasting him, lifting him up into
the sky. Robert J ohnson looks over in the ditch and sees the eyes of the dog reflecting
the bright moonlight or, more likely so it seems to Robert J ohnson, glowing on their
own, a deep violet penetrating glow, and Robert J ohnson knows and feels that he is
staring into the eyes of a Hellhound as his body shudders from head to toe.

The man says, ‘The dog ain't for sale, Robert J ohnson, but the sound can be yours.
That's the sound of the Delta Blues.’

‘I got to have that sound, Devil-Man. That sound is mine. Where do I sign?’

The man says, ‘You ain't got a pencil, Robert J ohnson. Your word is good enough. All
you got to do is keep walking north. But you better be prepared. There are

‘Prepared for what, Devil-man?’

‘You know where you are, Robert J ohnson? You are standing in the middle of the
crossroads. At midnight, that full moon is right over your head. You take one more step,
you'll be in Rosedale. You take this road to the east, you'll get back over to Highway 61
in Cleveland, or you can turn around and go back down to Beulah or just go to the west
and sit up on the levee and look at the River. But if you take one more step in the
direction you're headed, you going to be in Rosedale at midnight under this full October
moon, and you are going to have the Blues like never known to this world. My left hand
will be forever wrapped around your soul, and your music will possess all who hear it.
That's what's going to happen. That's what you better be prepared for. Your soul will
belong to me. This is not just any crossroads. I put this X here for a reason, and I been
waiting on you.’

Robert J ohnson rolls his head around, his eyes upwards in their sockets to stare at the
blinding light of the moon which has now completely filled tie pitch-black Delta night,
piercing his right eye like a bolt of lightning as the midnight hour hits.

He looks the big man squarely in the eyes and says, ‘Step back, Devil-Man, I'm going to
Rosedale. I am the Blues.’

The man moves to one side and says, ‘Go on, Robert J ohnson. You the King of the
Delta Blues. Go on home to Rosedale. And when you get on up in town, you get you a
plate of hot tamales because you going to be needing something on your stomach
where you're headed.’” ohnson

A Devilish Footnote:
In the Delta
Lilith Wears Red Shoes

The Devil isn’t the only one walking the dark country roads of the rural South. If what
they say in folktales and legends is true, Lilith, his wife and old partner in crime, has
followed him from their old haunts appearing on the roads of America in new shapes
and guises.

In Mississippi and Alabama it is believed that Lilith, sometimes called J ezebel, wanders
the back roads of the countryside stealing untended babies from cradles, making cows’
milk go sour, breaking up marriages and bringing strife wherever she goes.

Sometimes she comes to work in unsuspecting households and before long she is up to
her devil-woman tricks. Sometimes she will stay with families and plague them until the
last of their line either runs off or is buried.

Lilith and her guises are familiar in many folk songs of the Old South.


Go to sleep little babe,
Go to sleep little babe,
Your momma's gone away
and your daddy's gonna stay
didn't leave nobody but the baby,
Go to sleep little babe,
Go to sleep little babe.
Everybody's gone in the cotton and the corn
didn't leave nobody but the baby,
You're a sweet little babe,
You're a sweet little babe,
Honey in the rock
and the sugar don't stop
gonna bring a bottle to the baby,
Don't you weep pretty babe,
Don't you weep pretty babe,
She's long gone
with her red shoes on
gonna need another loving babe,
Go to sleep little babe,
Go to sleep little babe,
You and me
and the Devil makes three
don't need no other lovin' babe,
Go to sleep little babe,
Go to sleep little babe,
Come lay bones
on the alabaster stones
and be my everlovin’ babe!
Old tales say that you can always tell the Devil-Woman Lilith even if she tries to hide,
because she’s the one wearing those shiny, new red shoes. J ust how she got those
shoes is a tale in and of itself and to learn about it, follow the link below to one of our
favorite sites for American folklore!
Robert got "buried" in more places than most blues guys. The location of Robert
J ohnson's grave is only one item on the list of mysteries surrounding his life and
untimely death. Recent evidence points to Little Zion as the real final resting place. A
rumor that the original marker placed at Little Zion in August 2001 was removed to
make way for this larger monument.D ROBERT J OHNSON AT THE CROSSROADS
The Search for Robert J ohnson, 1992
Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? The Life and Music of Robert J ohnson, 1997
Hellhounds On My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert J ohnson (2000). Directed by Robert
Mugge. ohnson

Below is an email exchange I had regarding this subject. To
follow along properly please read from the bottom up.
Dr. Johnson
----- Original Message -----
From: Scott J ohnson
To: A Scott J ohnson
Sent: Friday, J une 16, 2006 12:37 AM
Subject: Part Three (Response) Christian Rock Blessing or Blasphemy?

Namon: (See Namon's response below mine)

Because what better way to infiltrate the already apostate Christian Church than to bring
Satanic music into the church, further "leavening the whole lump". Satan's having an
absolute field day in the church and most of the church doesn't even see it because
they are blind and want there sin more than they want to live holy before God. See the
following verses relating to the church age we are living in:

Rev 3:14-19: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things
saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I
know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;
and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and
naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and
white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not
appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I
love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."

Your arguments are based purely on your opinion and not on Scripture. You are letting
your heart be your guide, but the Scriptures warn us about this practice in several
Proverbs 14:12, 16:25 : "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end
thereof are the ways of death."
J eremiah 17:9 : "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who
can know it?"
Proverbs 28:26: "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool..."

It is obvious you have not researched the links I have provided below because you keep
bringing up the same points.
Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame
unto him."

In regard to all the 'Christian' rock groups and other you have referred to, be careful
about following men as we are called to follow the Word of God rather man:
J eremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and
maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."

In reference to your last letter; as far as not judging or marking others you need to
rightly divide the Word of truth (II Tim 2:15). When J esus said 'J udge not, that ye be not
judged' he was in reference to hypocritical judgment.
Matthew 7:1-5: "J udge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye
shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And
why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam
that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote
out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast
out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote
out of thy brother's eye."
Consider the other Scriptures pertaining to judgement.
I Cor. 2:15 "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things..."
Romans 16: 17&18 (KJ V): "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause
divisions on offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
For they that are such serve not our Lord J esus Christ, but their own belly; and by good
words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
II Timothy 4:14 " Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him
according to his works:"
Titus 3:10 "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;"
All these verses are in the new Testament and all pertain to a Christian judging in a
Biblical way. This one of the main problems with the church: There is no
judgment of right and wrong! When there is no righteous judgment, it
causes blindness. This is something God hates (see below):
Isaiah 59:8-15: "The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their
goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know
peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait
for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for
the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday
as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and
mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is
far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify
against us: for our transgressions are]with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God,
speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of
And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is
fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the
LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet,
and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among
he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."
Ezekiel 33:6

J eremiah 7:28: "But thou shalt say unto them, This [is] a nation that obeyeth not the
voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off
from their mouth."

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -- Edmund

Scott J ohnson

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, J une 15, 2006 9:32 PM
Subject: Re: [Preaching_Freedom] Christian Rock Blessing or Blasphemy?

OK you're saying Christian rock is evil because the fans of the music worship the singers? When put in
the spotlight its hard not to be idolized by someone and that just doesn't include rock music there are as
many gospel singers idolized as there are Christian rock bands so does that make J immy Fortune bad or
the Gaither's what about pastors who pack arenas like Billy Graham I'm sure there's a lot of people who
idolized him does that make him evil or his message any less godly. It just doesn't make sense to me
that these bands that clearly have talent would choose to do Christian music when they could easily be
making probably triple what they make now if they would sing secular music. If that's all they are
interested in secular music would provide a much larger following plus more money. So why then do
these bands choose what they and I call Christian music?


Great question. To get all your questions answered regarding this subject just go
These are full guidelines to Biblical music including the " Drums" issue.


----- Original Message -----
From: namon
Sent: Monday, J une 12, 2006 11:34 PM
Subject: Re: [Preaching_Freedom] Christian Rock Blessing or Blasphemy?

I'm not trying to upset anybody but adultery is a sin stripping/coveting is a sin and being a drunkard is a
sin but where in the Bible does it say a style of music is a sin? I'm not trying to be rebellious or even be
confrontational. So please don't take it that way I'm just curious as to where the evil lies in an electric
guitar and drums? Is Christian country music evil? Or what about Christian soul music? Where are we
supposed to draw the line?
----- Original Message -----
From: namon kouri
Subject: Re: [Preaching_Freedom] Christian Rock Blessing or Blasphemy?

As long as it's Christian I don't see what it matters. I had stopped
listening to music altogether until I discovered that there are lots of
Christian rock groups that have songs with positive Christian
meanings. If it brings somebody closer to God how can it be wrong?


This article (see: ) gives you numerous examples of
why this very thing is so wrong. Please take the time to read this information first before
rendering a decision.

Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame
unto him."

The practice of Christian rock was adopted originally from modern day rock music which
is totally Satanic in origin. Rock music is of the world and never are we instructed in
Scripture to go back to the world or use the world to win people to Christ.

1J ohn 2:15 " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man
love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
Fallen Angel: The Untold Story of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin
This book is a startling 648-page expose' of Led Zeppelin's
propagation of a Satanic, Magick, and Masonic Order from
England called "The Argenteum Astrum"; which means 'Silver
Star'. This Masonic-type Black Order was founded by Black
Magician, Aleister Crowley -- the "Beast", "Mr. 666" -- who vowed
to destroy the Christian faith. Fallen Angel tells the complete story
of Crowley and Led Zeppelin's close relationship to Lucifer, aided
by 132 photographs amplifying the truth of these men;

CP-110 - Spellbound? Rock Music And Its Power To Persuade
J oin the Crusaders as they meet a man who tells us how Satan is
attacking the church, through spells, astrology, occultic jewelry and
rock music. "You Christians are in full-scale spiritual warfare, and
you don't even know it. You are being attacked by the Powers of
Darkness through spells and incantations; you are playing
"Church", and because you don't read your Bibles, Satan is going
for your jugular vein.
Through charms and infiltrating their churches with Rock Music,
Satanists believe they can blow the Christian Church off the face
of the earth, once the time became "ripe". This scenario is
occurring in churches all across this land, with " Praise
Bands" and Contemporary Music and " Christian Rock".
Is this a description of your church? The foretold "Apostasy" of the church -- falling away
from true doctrine -- is now here, and much of it has been cause by Rock Music.
By David Cloud, Way Of Life Ministry
The July issue of Charisma, ... exhorting the readers to " Get in the Groove." The
author, J. Lee Grady, mocks traditional Christian music as " dirge-like" and " lily-
white" and something only for " grandmothers." He goes on to make the
pretentious claim that worship music in Heaven will feature " a dozen Hammond-
B3 organs and a procession of hip-hop [rap] dancers." Not content with this
brazen claim, Grady tells us that Jesus Christ " loves all music--even the funkiest"
and that Jesus Christ enjoys dancing with the angels and " grooving to the sound
of Christian R&B [rhythm and blues] pumped out of a boom box."
Why I Knock so-called " Christian" Rock (Christian/C-Rock)
This is not for C-rockers unless you plan on repenting and following what the
Bible teaches!
The purpose is to assist Christians that are serious in defending their churches
against this wile (C-rock and CCM) of our adversary. Nothing in my walk with my
Lord Jesus, for some 20 years now has been more divisive an issue than music,
in particular so called " Christian" Rock and CCM music.
-- That is why I believe an article such as this one is so badly needed.
To Sin to Reach a Sinner?! – An Ode to C-Rockers and the like
For C-rockers questioning their rationale since many of them are bent on
criticizing this site.
A quick and easy answer to their many lies and distortions of God’s Holy Word.

Proverbs 14:12, 16:25 : "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end
thereof are the ways of death."

J eremiah 17:9 : "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who
can know it?"

II Corinthians 2:11: "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant
of his devices."

J ohn 8:31&32: "Then said J esus to those J ews which believed on him, If ye continue in
my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free."

Galatians 4:16: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

J eremiah 7:28: "But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the
voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off
from their mouth."
This verse reflects one of the main problems with the church and this country, as they
refuse to receive correction and as a result truth is perishing.
"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet,
and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among
he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."
Ezekiel 33:6

Scott J ohnson