“You can run, you can run, tell my friend boy Willie Brown”
With those words, rock’s grandfather and 27s archetype Robert Johnson immortalized bluesman Willie Brown in his prophetic “Cross Road Blues.” Cream (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce), of course, brought the song into the rock canon with their version of the song.
While Willie Brown’s name is immortalized, his earthly remains rest in an unmarked grave in Tunica County, Mississippi. A group of blue fans, scholars, and musicians are in the process of raising $2,100 to get him a proper headstone at the Good Shepherd Church in Tunica. The Willie Brown Blues Benefit takes place September 26, 2010, in Tampa, Florida, and donations are collected there and through Paypal. Reminds us of Janis Joplin and the effort she was a part of with Juanita Green, which resulted in a permanent resting place for blues great Bessie Smith.
We commend Jason Rewald and the other fine folks at tdblues.com for this great cause and for their fantastic research, digging up census records, death certificates, and writing about Robert Johnson’s guitars, tunings, and much more. Keep it up!