Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was the Night (Cold Was the Ground)


An evening pause: This cover of Johnson’s song is by someone who for some reason doesn’t give his name on his youtube page. Blind Willie Johnson was a gospel singer from the 1920s who had been blinded as a child. If you want to hear him performing his magnificent guitar piece go here. There are no visuals, sadly, which is why I choose this cover, as it is I think important to see the playing to understand how brilliant the piece is.

Hat tip Mike Nelson, who in noting that Johnson’s recorded performance was one of the pieces of music included on the Voyager spacecraft the U.S. sent beyond the solar system, asks, “Is this the behavior of a “systemically” racist society?”

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