The story of influential blues musician Robert Leroy Johnson is the stuff of music legend. Stories go that as a young man in rural Mississippi he became part of a Faustian pact with The Devil to become a blues musician. Whether the tale was true or not does not take away from the immense legacy Johnson brought with him. Even though his recordings were released more than a decade and a half before the inception of rock and roll music, they provided a solid blueprint for the genre, as well as guitar techniques that were revolutionary at the time.
Robert Johnson's music was only available on Grammophone singles until 1961, which saw the release of a definitive compilation of Johnson's recordings. King Of The Delta Blues Singers was a collection of 16 mono recordings cut from 1936 to 1937, and is widely considered the linchpin for the electric blues and blues-rock movement of the 1960s. The album was a critical smash, a badge of coolness during the time, and is now considered one of the greatest albums of all time.
It was the first album to be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and greatly impacted the development of artists like Bob Dylan, John Mayall, and Eric Clapton, who most famously had a smash hit on rock radio with his band Cream's cover of "Cross Road Blues."