Larry Baeder and Friends to Offer Tribute, Propose Toast to Robert Johnson

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The Green Parrot will celebrate the 102nd birthday of the seminal delta bluesman Robert Johnson on Wednesday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. The Tribute, hosted by Larry Baeder, who’ll be accompanied by guitarist Bill Blue, drummer Richard Crooks and bassist Francois Gehin, will include several Key West musicians offering renditions of Robert Johnson songs.
 Robert Johnson died at 27 in August 1938—an itinerant blues musician in the Mississippi Delta whose passing merited scant notice locally, much less worldwide. He left a sparse recorded history of 29 songs, and only a half-dozen scratchy 78-rpm discs were released during his lifetime. He has since become known as the King of the Delta Blues Singers, his music expanding in influence to the point that rock stars of the greatest magnitude – the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers – all sing his praise and have recorded his songs.

Thousands of music fans, who’ve come to love Johnson’s music as played by their rock and blues heroes have bought into the Faustian mythology that surrounds his short life and strange death. According to the myth,
  Johnson obtained his amazing guitar skills by selling his soul to the Devil.
When I picked up his cake at Publix last year and I mentioned 101 years old, clerks and customers responded with “101, God Bless Him! 
I did not have the heart to tell them he had been dead for nearly 75 years, let alone that he had sold his soul to the devil, had hellhounds on his trail and was eventually poisened by a cuckolded husband in a juke joint.
The hellhounds he sang about so hauntingly had caught up with him and he was dead, leaving a 29-song catalogue to which countless bluesmen, rock legends and wannabe bar bands have returned ever since for inspiration.