Some time around 1993, there was an infrequent customer at Rich O’s Public House named Chris, who said he was a member of the homebrewing club in Cleveland, Ohio obliged to visit Louisville now and then on business.
One night he brought with him the 2-CD box set of Robert Johnson’s music, the one so many of my generation snatched up as soon as it became available. It united all of Johnson’s sparse recorded output. Chris said I could borrow it until the next time he came through town.
We never saw him again, and later at a homebrewing function in Cleveland, I asked some of the club members there about him.
Not one of them had ever heard the name.
… The latest “Overlooked” is an oddity. Its subject may be the most famous person of all to get the belated Times obit since the series began. Robert Johnson’s alleged deal with the devil at the crossroads has become as foundational to U.S. mythology as John Henry’s hammer or George Washington’s cherry tree.