Blind Willie Johnson Biography

Guitarist, Singer (c. 1902–c. 1947)
Blind Willie Johnson was a singer who performed on Southern streets, noted for the power of his singing and for his ingenious guitar parts.


Blind Willie Johnson grew up in Texas. When he was seven years old, his stepmother, fighting with his father, threw lye in Johnson's face, permanently blinding him. From his youth he sang gospel songs while playing guitar. Johnson recorded 30 songs in 1927–1930. His strong voice was a rough, low baritone; joined with his urgently rhythmic guitar, his harsh singing achieved great force.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!