Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc. the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, hip hop. Epic Records has released music by artists including Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, George Michael, The Yardbirds, Shakin Stevens, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent, Sly & the Family Stone, The Hollies, Celine Dion, ABBA, Culture Club, Dave Clark Five, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Michael Jackson. Along with Arista, Columbia and RCA Records, Epic is one of Sony Music Entertainment's four flagship record labels. Artists who have signed to Epic Records include French Montana, Fiona Apple, Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Lopez, Keyshia Cole, Hardwell, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Hudson, Zara Larsson, Mariah Carey, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, Camila Cabello, Swizz Beatz and Louis Tomlinson.
Epic Records was launched in 1953 by the Columbia Records unit of CBS for the purpose of marketing jazz and classical music that did not fit the theme of its more mainstream Columbia Records label. Initial classical music releases were from Philips Records which distributed Columbia product in Europe. Pop talent on co-owned Okeh Records were transferred to Epic which made Okeh a rhythm and blues label. Epic's bright-yellow and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases; this has included such notables as the Berlin Philharmonic, Charles Rosen, the Juilliard String Quartet, Antal Doráti conducting the Hague Philharmonic and George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra. By 1960, Epic became better known for its signing of newer, fledgling acts. By the end of the 1960s, Epic earned its first gold records and had evolved into a formidable hit-making force in rock and roll, R&B and country music. Among its many acts, it included Roy Hamilton, Bobby Vinton, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, Tammy Wynette, The Yardbirds, July, Helen Shapiro and Jeff Beck.
Several of the British artists on the Epic roster during the 1960s were the result of CBS's Epic/Okeh units' international distribution deal with EMI. Epic was involved in a notable "trade" of artists. Graham Nash was signed to Epic because of his membership in The Hollies; when the newly formed Crosby, Stills & Nash wanted to sign with Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegün worked out a deal with Clive Davis whereby Richie Furay's new band Poco would sign with Epic. Epic's commercial success continued to grow in the 1970s with releases from ABBA in the UK, Cheap Trick, The Clash, Charlie Daniels, Heart, The Isley Brothers, The Jacksons, George Jones, Meat Loaf, Johnny Nash, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon, Minnie Riperton, Charlie Rich, Sly & the Family Stone, Steve Vai, Edgar Winter. Contributing to the label's success was its distribution of Philadelphia International Records, which produced additional hit records by acts such as The Three Degrees and McFadden and Whitehead. During the 1960s, Epic oversaw the smaller subsidiary CBS labels including Okeh Records and Date Records.
In 1968, Epic recordings began being distributed in the UK by CBS after the distribution deal with EMI expired that year. Sony Corporation bought CBS Records in 1987, the company was renamed Sony Music in 1991, it began splitting European operations into two separate labels and Columbia, in 1992, in 1997, Sony Music Australia and New Zealand followed suit. In 2004, Sony merged with music distributor BMG, bringing Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records, Zomba Group of Companies to one parent company known as Sony BMG Music Entertainment. In 2008, Sony bought out BMG for $1.2 billion, bringing all affiliated labels together as Sony Music Entertainment International, SMEI. The merger was approved by the European Union in 2009. Epic's 1980s and 1990s mainstream success were fueled by its signing and releasing of albums by notable acts such as Michael Jackson, Culture Club, the Miami Sound Machine and Gloria Estefan and George Michael, Adam Ant, Living Colour, Dead or Alive, Cyndi Lauper, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Luther Vandross, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rage Against the Machine, Céline Dion, Oasis among others.
One of the label's greatest financial payoffs came via the release of Thriller, the 1982 album by Michael Jackson, which went on to achieve 51–65 million in worldwide sales, becoming the biggest selling album in history. Epic Soundtrax was founded in 1992, it was central to Epic's 1990s success, with 11 releases cumulatively selling more than 40 million records over a three-year period. Notable releases included soundtrack albums for Honeymoon in Vegas, Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump and Judgement Night. In July 2011, L. A. Reid became the CEO of Epic Records, signing artists such as TLC, Toni Braxton, Cher Lloyd, Avril Lavigne, Future, Yo Gotti, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and Travis Scott. Epic signed the winners of The X Factor during the seasons that Reid appeared on the show. In 2013, Sylvia Rhone, former president of Universal Motown, launched the imprint Vested In Culture through Epic Records. A year she was named president of the label. In November 2014, Mosley Music Group created
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Lawrence H. Cohn
Lawrence H. Cohn, was an American-born pioneering cardiac surgeon and medical educator, he had been on the surgical staff at Harvard Medical School since 1971 and has been a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School since 1980. In 2000, he was awarded the first endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Born in San Francisco, Cohn received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley with honors in 1958. In 1962, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine with distinction, he received his graduate medical training from 1962 to 1971 at Boston City Hospital/Harvard, the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, the University of California at San Francisco and the Stanford University School of Medicine. During his tenure at Stanford University, he trained with pioneering heart surgeon, Dr. Norman E. Shumway. At Harvard Medical School, he served as Assistant Professor of Surgery from 1971 to 1975, Associate Professor of Surgery from 1975 to 1980, Professor of Surgery since 1980, was awarded the first endowed Virginia and James Hubbard Chair in Cardiac Surgery in 2000.
He was awarded an honorary Masters of Medicine from Harvard in 1989 and a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Paris in 1992. In 2005 he was the recipient of the Paul Dudley White Award, the highest award given by the American Heart Association, he has served as the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital from 1987 to 2005 and as Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Training Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Children's Hospital Medical Center from 1987 to 2000. From 2000 to 2004, he served as Chair of the Women's Physician Organization, he serves as Physician Director of Medical Device Technology for Partners HealthCare Systems and is the Chair of the Physician and Scientist Fundraising Program at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Having performed over 11,000 cardiac surgical operations, Cohn is an expert in the field of heart valve repair and replacement surgery and minimally invasive heart valve surgery, he has published over 440 original scientific articles, 105 book chapters and 12 books, including Cardiac Surgery in the Adult, the most referenced text book in adult cardiac surgery today.
He has given more than 750 lectures worldwide. He has held or holds office in the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Cardiology, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery of which he was President. In 1999, he presented pioneering cardiac surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey with the Scientific Achievement Award of The American Association for Thoracic Surgery, he has been the President of the American College of Chest Physicians and Chairman of the Board of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. He is Past-President of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Education, he is a member of 20 other professional organizations, holds honorary membership in 4 international organizations. He has served on the Editorial Board of 14 medical journals, he is the editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the most referenced journal in the field of cardiothoracic surgery.. He is a consultant in cardiovascular services with emphasis on the organization of the cardiovascular service line.
As a part of this consultative effort, he has been involved in advising medical centers strategies for medical device purchases emphasizing standardization and economization as well as efficacy of the products. As a pioneering educator, Cohn has trained more than 150 residents and fellows at the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Children's Hospital Medical Center Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Training Program. Graduates of this program occupy responsible positions at major medical centers worldwide, including 30 surgeons who are Division Chiefs or Department Chairs. Cardiac Surgery in the Adult See patient testimonials and videos by Dr. Lawrence Cohn, heart surgeon
Blues is a music genre and musical form, originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and rhymed simple narrative ballads; the blues form, ubiquitous in jazz and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove. Blues as a genre is characterized by its lyrics, bass lines, instrumentation. Early traditional blues verses consisted of a single line repeated four times, it was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the AAB pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, a longer concluding line over the last bars.
Early blues took the form of a loose narrative relating the racial discrimination and other challenges experienced by African-Americans. Many elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa; the origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals. The first appearance of the blues is dated to after the ending of slavery and the development of juke joints, it is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the former slaves. Chroniclers began to report about blues music at the dawn of the 20th century; the first publication of blues sheet music was in 1908. Blues has since evolved from unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of slaves into a wide variety of styles and subgenres. Blues subgenres include country blues, such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues, as well as urban blues styles such as Chicago blues and West Coast blues. World War II marked the transition from acoustic to electric blues and the progressive opening of blues music to a wider audience white listeners.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a hybrid form called blues rock developed, which blended blues styles with rock music. The term Blues may have come from "blue devils", meaning sadness; the phrase blue devils may have been derived from Britain in the 1600s, when the term referred to the "intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal". As time went on, the phrase lost the reference to devils, "it came to mean a state of agitation or depression." By the 1800s in the United States, the term blues was associated with drinking alcohol, a meaning which survives in the phrase blue law, which prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Though the use of the phrase in African-American music may be older, it has been attested to in print since 1912, when Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues" became the first copyrighted blues composition. In lyrics the phrase is used to describe a depressed mood, it is in this sense of a sad state of mind that one of the earliest recorded references to "the blues" was written by Charlotte Forten aged 25, in her diary on December 14, 1862.
She was a free-born black from Pennsylvania, working as a schoolteacher in South Carolina, instructing both slaves and freedmen, wrote that she "came home with the blues" because she felt lonesome and pitied herself. She overcame her depression and noted a number of songs, such as Poor Rosy, that were popular among the slaves. Although she admitted being unable to describe the manner of singing she heard, Forten wrote that the songs "can't be sung without a full heart and a troubled spirit", conditions that have inspired countless blues songs; the lyrics of early traditional blues verses often consisted of a single line repeated four times. It was only in the first decades of the 20th century that the most common current structure became standard: the so-called "AAB" pattern, consisting of a line sung over the four first bars, its repetition over the next four, a longer concluding line over the last bars. Two of the first published blues songs, "Dallas Blues" and "Saint Louis Blues", were 12-bar blues with the AAB lyric structure.
W. C. Handy wrote; the lines are sung following a pattern closer to rhythmic talk than to a melody. Early blues took the form of a loose narrative. African-American singers voiced his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, hard times"; this melancholy has led to the suggestion of an Igbo origin for blues because of the reputation the Igbo had throughout plantations in the Americas for their melancholic music and outlook on life when they were enslaved. The lyrics relate troubles experienced within African American society. For instance Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Rising High Water Blues" tells of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: "Backwater rising, Southern peoples can't make no time I said, backwater rising, Southern peoples can't make no time And I can't get no hearing from that Memphis girl of mine."Although the blues gained an association with misery and oppression, the lyrics could be humorous and raunchy: "Rebecca, get your big legs off of me, Rebecca, get your big legs off of m
CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network, a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles. CBS is sometimes referred to as the Eye Network, in reference to the company's iconic symbol, in use since 1951, it has been called the "Tiffany Network", alluding to the perceived high quality of CBS programming during the tenure of William S. Paley, it can refer to some of CBS's first demonstrations of color television, which were held in a former Tiffany & Co. building in New York City in 1950. The network has its origins in United Independent Broadcasters Inc. a collection of 16 radio stations, purchased by Paley in 1928 and renamed the Columbia Broadcasting System. Under Paley's guidance, CBS would first become one of the largest radio networks in the United States, one of the Big Three American broadcast television networks.
In 1974, CBS dropped its former full name and became known as CBS, Inc. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired the network in 1995, renamed its corporate entity to the current CBS Broadcasting, Inc. in 1997, adopted the name of the company it had acquired to become CBS Corporation. In 2000, CBS came under the control of Viacom, formed as a spin-off of CBS in 1971. In late 2005, Viacom split itself into two separate companies and re-established CBS Corporation – through the spin-off of its broadcast television and select cable television and non-broadcasting assets – with the CBS television network at its core. CBS Corporation is controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, which controls the current Viacom. CBS operated the CBS Radio network until 2017, when it merged its radio division with Entercom. Prior to CBS Radio provided news and features content for its portfolio owned-and-operated radio stations in large and mid-sized markets, affiliated radio stations in various other markets.
While CBS Corporation owns a 72% stake in Entercom, it no longer owns or operates any radio stations directly, though CBS still provides radio news broadcasts to its radio affiliates and the new owners of its former radio stations. The television network has more than 240 owned-and-operated and affiliated television stations throughout the United States; the company ranked 197th on the 2018 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue. The origins of CBS date back to January 27, 1927, with the creation of the "United Independent Broadcasters" network in Chicago by New York City talent-agent Arthur Judson; the fledgling network soon needed additional investors though, the Columbia Phonograph Company, manufacturers of Columbia Records, rescued it in April 1927. Columbia Phonographic went on the air on September 18, 1927, with a presentation by the Howard L. Barlow Orchestra from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, fifteen affiliates. Operational costs were steep the payments to AT&T for use of its land lines, by the end of 1927, Columbia Phonograph wanted out.
In early 1928 Judson sold the network to brothers Isaac and Leon Levy, owners of the network's Philadelphia affiliate WCAU, their partner Jerome Louchheim. None of the three were interested in assuming day-to-day management of the network, so they installed wealthy 26-year-old William S. Paley, son of a Philadelphia cigar family and in-law of the Levys, as president. With the record company out of the picture, Paley streamlined the corporate name to "Columbia Broadcasting System", he believed in the power of radio advertising since his family's "La Palina" cigars had doubled their sales after young William convinced his elders to advertise on radio. By September 1928, Paley bought out the Louchhheim share of CBS and became its majority owner with 51% of the business. During Louchheim's brief regime, Columbia paid $410,000 to A. H. Grebe's Atlantic Broadcasting Company for a small Brooklyn station, WABC, which would become the network's flagship station. WABC was upgraded, the signal relocated to 860 kHz.
The physical plant was relocated – to Steinway Hall on West 57th Street in Manhattan, where much of CBS's programming would originate. By the turn of 1929, the network could boast to sponsors of having 47 affiliates. Paley moved right away to put his network on a firmer financial footing. In the fall of 1928, he entered into talks with Adolph Zukor of Paramount Pictures, who planned to move into radio in response to RCA's forays into motion pictures with the advent of talkies; the deal came to fruition in September 1929: Paramount acquired 49% of CBS in return for a block of its stock worth $3.8 million at the time. The agreement specified that Paramount would buy that same stock back by March 1, 1932 for a flat $5 million, provided CBS had earned $2 million during 1931 and 1932. For a brief time there was talk that the network might be renamed "Paramount Radio", but it only lasted a month – the 1929 stock market crash sent all stock value tumbling, it galvanized Paley and his troops, who "had no alternative but to turn the network around and earn the $2,000,000 in two years....
This is the atmosphere in which the CBS of today was born." The near-bankrupt movie studio sold its CBS shares back to CBS in 1932. In the first year of Paley's wa
Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, songwriting talent that has influenced generations of musicians. Johnson's poorly documented life and death have given rise to much legend; the one most associated with his life is that he sold his soul to the devil at a local crossroads to achieve musical success. He is now recognized as a master of the blues as a progenitor of the Delta blues style; as an itinerant performer who played on street corners, in juke joints, at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime. He only participated in two recording sessions, one in San Antonio in 1936, one in Dallas in 1937, that produced recordings of 29 distinct songs; these songs, recorded at low fidelity in improvised studios, were the totality of his recorded output. About half of these were released as 10-inch, 78 rpm singles from 1937–1939, many after his death at the age of 27.
Other than these recordings little was known of him during his life outside of the small musical circuit in the Mississippi Delta where he spent most of his life. His music had only a small, but influential, following during his life and in the years after his death; as early as 1938, his music was being sought by influential producers such as John Hammond, who tried to recruit him to record and tour without knowing of his death. Brunswick Records, which owned the original recordings, was bought by Hammond's Columbia Records, which would release the recordings to a wider audience. Musicologist Alan Lomax went to Mississippi in 1941 to record Johnson not knowing of his death. A compilation album, titled King of the Delta Blues Singers, was released by Columbia in 1961, which brought his work to a wider audience; the album would become an influential record on the nascent British blues movement, just getting started at the time. Musicians as diverse as Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Robert Plant have cited both Johnson's lyricism and musicianship has key influences on their own work.
Many of Johnson's songs have been covered over the years, becoming hits for other artists, his guitar licks and lyrics have been borrowed and repurposed by a many musicians. Renewed interest in Johnson's work and life led to a burst of scholarship starting in the 1960s. Much of what we know about him today was reconstructed by researchers such as Gayle Dean Wardlow; the 1991 documentary The Search for Robert Johnson by John Hammond, Jr. was another attempt to document his life, demonstrated the difficulties arising from the scant historical record and conflicting oral accounts. Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first induction ceremony, in 1986, as an early influence on rock and roll, he was awarded a posthumous Grammy Award in 1991 for The Complete Recordings, a 1990 compilation album. His single "Cross Road Blues" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2003, David Fricke ranked Johnson fifth in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Johnson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi on May 8, 1911, to Julia Major Dodds and Noah Johnson. Julia was married to Charles Dodds, a prosperous landowner and furniture maker, with whom she had ten children. Charles Dodds had been forced by a lynch mob to leave Hazlehurst following a dispute with white landowners. Julia left Hazlehurst with baby Robert, but after two years sent the boy to Memphis to live with her husband, who had changed his name to Charles Spencer. Robert rejoined his mother around 1919 near Tunica and Robinsonville, they lived on the Leatherman Plantation. Julia's new husband, known as Dusty Willis, was 24 years her junior. Robert was remembered by some residents as "Little Robert Dusty", but he was registered at Tunica's Indian Creek School as Robert Spencer. In the 1920 census, he is listed as Robert Spencer, living in Lucas, with Will and Julia Willis. Robert was at school in 1924 and 1927; the quality of his signature on his marriage certificate suggests that he was well educated for a boy of his background.
A school friend, Willie Coffee, interviewed and filmed in life, recalled that as a youth Robert was noted for playing the harmonica and jaw harp. Coffee recalled that Robert was absent for long periods, which suggests that he may have been living and studying in Memphis. After school, Robert adopted the surname of his natural father, signing himself as Robert Johnson on the certificate of his marriage to sixteen-year-old Virginia Travis in February 1929, she died in childbirth shortly after. Surviving relatives of Virginia told the blues researcher Robert "Mack" McCormick that this was a divine punishment for Robert's decision to sing secular songs, known as "selling your soul to the Devil". McCormick believed that Johnson himself accepted the phrase as a description of his resolve to abandon the settled life of a husband and farmer to become a full-time blues musician. Around this time, the blues musician Son House moved to Robinsonville, where his musical partner Willie Brown lived. Late in life, House remembered Johnson as a "little boy", a competent harmonica player but an embarrassingly bad guitarist.
Soon after, Johnson left Robinsonville for the area around Ma