SuperTalk Mississippi

Son, Sole Heir of Bluesman Robert Johnson Dies, NewsMS Exclusive Interview Replay

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss.–The son and sole heir to the estate of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson has died. Claude Johnson’s death was confirmed by his family attorney Tuesday. Johnson was 83.

While Claude Johnson’s father lived a life of rambling from place to place, playing music and possibly dying at the hands of a jealous husband, Claude seemed to enjoy a simple and tranquil existence, living in the same area of the state where his father was born.

“I seen him twice,” said Johnson when asked about memories of his famous father. He told News Mississippi in 2013 that Robert Johnson was not allowed around his own children because of his music. Claude was raised by his mother and her parents.


“I was able to see him twice. He came to my grandfather’s house where I lived at twice, and I never seen him again.”

Claude had to fight his own family for the rights to profits from Johnson’s recordings and the only two known photos of Robert Johnson. He was declared the sole heir in 1998 and won the rights to profits from the pictures in 2014.

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