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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Eric Clapton Playing Robert Johnson

Eric Clapton doing Walking Blues. This is one of Robert Johnson's songs, although some of the lyrics and melody come from Son House. This has cause a few blues scholars much concern about the originality of Robert Johnson. However, I think one has to look at blues as a continuing music, that is passed down from player to player. You pick and chose words, and melodies as you go. I also think that propriety, or ownership of creative material probably wasn't a big issue among blues players. Elmo James is just as much the author of Dust My Broom, as Robert Johnson, and Robert took it from someone else, who took it from someone else, and the line continues on. Old songs, like Kansas City, C C Rider, Stagger Lee, and Frankie and Johnnie, are a few examples of songs with multiple authorship. Who was first? Some people think that the first is the most important, but the most important historically speaking is the person who made the biggest impact with the song. Hands down Robert wins it most of the time.

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