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7785Re: Blind Willie music

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  • Soles
    Feb 13, 2003
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      Man JD,

      That story is even sadder than all the info I
      found on Willie..

      I guess we could say that Willie was a good
      example of a believer making the most of what the
      Lord left him with.

      I think, the hardest thing would have been
      getting past the bitterness of what  Willie had
      been robbed of...the use of his eyes at seven.

      My younger brother Dave went through a time of
      great bitterness when he lost his right leg to a
      hunter at 12 years old...but praise the Lord,
      Dave was able to work through this...he says the
      Lord corrected him...used this time to spank
      him... JD, you could pray for my brother...he has
      somethings worked out... remains a very loving
      and giving man, a pastor even, but Dave is not a

      Sometimes it is so hard to understand how folks
      can be so right about somethings but so wrong on
      others...guess we have to chalk it up to: that 
      by the Lord's mercy only... do we get
      anything correct.

      In Christ,

      From: "James D <jamescovie@...>" <jamescovie@...> 
      Date:Tue, 11 Feb 2003 23:59:53 -0000
      Subject:[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Blind Willie music
      Thanks Mr Waybright,
      I did a little looken and I found this
      information on blind Willie it
      is pretty interesting!  Blind Willie Johnson
      1902(?) - 1947(?)

      "Blind Willie" Johnson was born in Texas about
      1902. Some reports say
      it was in Marlin, others say near Temple and the
      family then moved to
      Marlin. At age 5, Johnson announced to his father
      that he was going to
      become a preacher and fashioned his first guitar
      out of a cigar box.

      Johnson's father remarried following the death of
      young Johnson's
      mother. He caught Johnson's stepmother cheating
      and beat her her up.
      Her response was to throw lye into 7 year old
      Willie Johnson's face to
      deliberately blind him.

      Willie taught himself to play the guitar and
      accompanied himself using
      a pocketknife for a slide to mimic his voice.
      Johnson's father would
      take him into the town of Hearne and leave him to
      play on the corner
      every Saturday with a tin cup tied around his

      At age twenty-five he married a young singer
      named Angelina, sister of
      blues guitarist L. C. "Good Rockin'" Robinson
      (1915-76). Angelina
      accompanied Johnson on some of his recordings for
      Columbia Records
      between 1927 and 1930.

      Although some blues singers tussled with the pull
      between the blues
      and religious music, Blind Willie came down
      firmly on the side of the
      religious -- in a way. He had the power to make a
      religious song sound
      like the blues and a blues song sound holy.

      He sang in a "rasping false bass," and played
      bottleneck guitar with
      "uncanny left-handed strength, accuracy and
      agility." So forceful was
      his voice that legend has it he was once arrested
      for inciting a riot
      simply by standing in front of the New Orleans
      Customs House singing
      "If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down."

      Ry Cooder once called Johnson's "Dark Was The
      Night Cold Was the
      Ground" the most "transcendent piece in all
      American music."
      Additionally, his "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" is
      another masterpiece
      of slide work.

      Ironically, Johnson died of pneumonia following a
      fire that burned
      down his home. He slept on wet bedding his wife
      had prepared for him,
      got sick and passed on to blues heaven.

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