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Old Weird America: The Devil at the Crossroads

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Program Type: Lecture
Age: Adult

Join historian Cathy Polovina as she follows her curiosity and explores "Old Weird America," to look a bit closer at a variety of adventurous, innovative, and unusual characters throughout American history.

The Devil at the Crossroads: The Stormy Lives of Folk and Blues Legends Lead Belly and Robert Johnson
Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly) introduced many now standard folk tunes, such as “Goodnight Irene,” into early 20th century culture, enjoying popular and critical acclaim, even as he did time as a convicted killer.  By contrast, average guitarist Robert Johnson reappeared after a mysterious trip to the crossroads of Clarksdale, Mississippi—to play the blues as no one had before. Within a year, he was dead at the hands of a jealous husband. We’ll sort out fact from fiction in the lives of these legendary musical figures.