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The Story Behind Bluesman Robert Johnson

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, on Saturday night, January 18th at 11pm on The Blues, you'll hear a conversation between Ron Esposito and Bruce Conforth, one of the authors of the book, "Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson." Their phone interview was recorded on June 12, 2019.

This book has been nominated for the Penderyn Music Book Prize, the only UK-based book prize specifically for music titles including history, theory, biography, autobiography now in its 6th year.  The 2020 award ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 29th.

During their conversation, Mr. Conforth stated that this book was a result of 100 years of combined research by both authors.  The book goes into a detailed account of the life of this mysterious bluesman who only recorded 29 songs during his career and passed away at the age of 27.

He said that nothing made it into this book until the fact had been verified several times through various means of documentation including census records, birth or death certificates, etc.


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Lee Hay has worked at all three Cincinnati Public Radio stations: WGUC in the mid-70's, WMUB in the late 70's, and WVXU since 1984. She is currently the host of The Blues on Saturday evenings and various special programs.