Someone Else Named Robert’s Birthday

I am not the only Robert who was born on May 8th. I’m not even the first.

Robert Johnson was born on May 8, 1911. He would have been 110 years old today.

There’s been a thing over the last few years where people have been trying to speed correct his records. It wasn’t unusual for recordings made in the 20’s and 30’s to be pressed a little too fast or two slow. Many people feel Johnson’s music runs too fast. It’s hard to deny that he’s a smidge chipmunky at times. Lots of people have been releasing “corrected” versions of his songs. I’ve never listened to them before. It’s always felt a little blasphemous.

I was looking for something to add to this post and a handful of speed corrections came up in the YouTube search. I figured what the hell, right? I’m 50 now who cares what I think.

It sounds all right to me. Maybe a little more natural. One of the comments on the post says that this version is exactly in the key of E which means that it’s probably correct, though Johnson cut these in a hotel room and who knows if his guitar was tuned to A=440 or what. It’s likely it was not. Oh well.

Happy Birthday, Robert Johnson.

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