Louise Johnson

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Louise Johnson traveled with Charley Patton, Son House, and Willie Brown from the Mississippi Delta to Grafton, WI, to participate in a famed country blues recording session for Paramount Records held…
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Louise Johnson traveled with Charley Patton, Son House, and Willie Brown from the Mississippi Delta to Grafton, WI, to participate in a famed country blues recording session for Paramount Records held on May 28, 1930. On that day, Johnson cut her only known tracks, four pieces of barrelhouse piano blues, including the brazen and lusty "On the Wall." Clarence Lofton has claimed to be the piano player on these tracks, while Son House (who provided spoken interjections for Johnson's recordings, although some say it was actually Willie Brown who did the speaking) has maintained that Johnson did her own playing on all four songs, and it seems likely that she did. In a further bit of blues soap opera, Johnson reportedly started the journey to Grafton as Patton's girlfriend, only to return to Mississippi as the girlfriend of Son House, a turn of events that Patton turned into the song "Joe Kirby Blues" (Johnson lived on the Joe Kirby plantation north of Robinsonville, MS, at the time). Johnson was a sexy and fiery singer and an adept pianist, and one wishes she could have recorded more than four songs, but her performance on that day in Wisconsin provides at least a glimpse of her style.