Saturday, April 4, 2009

ROBERT JOHNSON, "Terraplane Blues"

Recorded in San Antonio in 1936, Terraplane Blues became a very popular song and served as a metaphor for sex. The lyrics narrated the story of his car not starting and suspicions that his girlfriend let another man drive it. The song became a regional hit and he successfully sold over 5,000 copies of this record. The fact that Johnson did not record more songs like Terraplane Blues could mean that he was either out of touch with what the public wanted or that he was ahead of his time in creating something new. The Led Zeppelin song Trampled Under Foot is regarded as a tribute to Johnson's Terraplane Blues, with Robert Plant using car parts as sexual metaphors.
Johnson’s major influence has been on rock. Although he was not very well known in African American's music community at the time, he was admired by a small, but influential, group of white record collectors involved in the New Orleans Jazz Revival.

Click here if you'd like to listen to Terraplane Blues:

informational sources:

Robert Johnson. Terraplane Blues. Brunswick Records. Nov 23, 1936.

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