Robert Johnson died August 16, 1938. Eight years ago there were only two known photographs of him. Today, after a long process of authentication, there are three.
The name Robert Johnson is not as well known as it deserves to be; unless you are a musicologist, blues guitarist or some such you may never have heard it, at least not this particular Robert Johnson, but without him the future of contemporary music would have looked far different from what it does today, and would almost certainly have been poorer for that.
Johnson is a member of the 27 Club, and because of that, the pausity of knowledge of his life, and the suspicion that he may have been murdered, he has become the stuff of legend.
Unlike Amy Winehouse, Robert Johnson did not achieve any degree of either fame or notoriety during his lifetime, and there were famously only two known photographs of him. Eight years ago though, another one turned up on ebay; the seller didn't realise who it was, but the buyer had a suspicion. Johnson had extraordinarily long fingers (as can be seen in both the other photographs), and although it has taken all this time, this newly discovered photograph has finally been authenticated.
This one will hopefully not cause the same controversy as the last. In 1994, a stamp was issued based on one of the then two known photos of Johnson, but the cigarette had been removed from his mouth by some government health fascist.
The legendary guitarist has a tentative presence on SongFacts. Don't forget also to check out the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation.