Tim will be moderating a conversation with the always fascinating Mrs. Annye Anderson about her debut memoir Brother Robert: Growing Up With Robert Johnson, and her nearly 97 years on the planet. Please come if you can!
Robert Johnson, one of the most influential figures in blues and rock music, has long been depicted as a mercurial, back country loner from the Mississippi Delta who went “down to the crossroads” to sell the devil his soul in exchange for musical prowess. To longtime Amherst resident Mrs. Annye Anderson, however, he was “Brother Robert”: a kind, thoughtful and talented older step-brother, a sharp dresser with beautiful penmanship and tremendous curiosity about the world, who doted on her at her childhood home in Memphis during the first twelve years of her life. In her 2020 debut memoir Brother Robert: Growing Up With Robert Johnson, Anderson offers a fascinating counter narrative to the legend, full of revealing stories about family, the segregated South and the wide range of music that informed Johnson’s own, including Louis Armstrong, Paul Robeson, Fiddlin’ John Carson and, their favorite, Jimmy Rogers.
About the Book
Rolling Stone-Kirkus Best Music Book of 2020
“[Brother Robert} book does much to pull the blues master out of the fog of myth.”—Rolling Stone
An intimate memoir by blues legend Robert Johnson's stepsister, including new details about his family, music, influences, tragic death, and musical afterlife
Though Robert Johnson was only twenty-seven years young and relatively unknown at the time of his tragic death in 1938, his enduring recordings have solidified his status as a progenitor of the Delta blues style. And yet, while his music has retained the steadfast devotion of modern listeners, much remains unknown about the man who penned and played these timeless tunes. Few people alive today actually remember what Johnson was really like, and those who do have largely upheld their silence-until now