Robert Johnson - a third photo?

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T. Berry Shuffle
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 13 Nov 2017, 18:46

Diamond Dog wrote:He doesn't even look like Johnson for me.


Nor did he to two people who actually knew him.
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Moleskin » 13 Nov 2017, 18:48

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:He doesn't even look like Johnson for me.


Nor did he to two people who actually knew him.


That is pretty telling. But we don't know what they were asked. It might (I'd say ought to, so as not to lead the witness) have been along the lines "do you know who this is a photo of" or "do you recognise either of these men?"

Saying "No" to either of those questions would not represent a clear "it isn't Johnson".
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Nov 2017, 18:50

I dunno, guys, I think the faces in those three photos are very similar.

Not to mention the fingers.
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Thang-y » 13 Nov 2017, 18:56

It only means it's possible when things match if there's an absence of things that don't match.

The ears don't match, in Johnson's case.

(Apart from the look of the thing)

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 13 Nov 2017, 19:00

Charlie O. wrote:I dunno, guys, I think the faces in those three photos are very similar.

Not to mention the fingers.


Not similar enough to be the same person to people who actually knew the man in question though. I think that's more compelling than forensic work by someone who would benefit from making a positive match.

And how likely is it that "Shines" as an itinerant musician would be wearing a Tank Watch with what appears to be a metal bracelet in the 1930s? Not very. Not to mention the winding stem is in the wrong place in order for this not to be a reversed image.
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Moleskin » 13 Nov 2017, 19:19

The other biggie is provenance. Where has this been for seventy years and where did it come from originally? I'd say that if it could be proved it came from the particular studio that would weigh in its favour.

You'd have to provide that line of ownership to verify a painting. Why not a photo?
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby The Modernist » 13 Nov 2017, 20:52

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:
And how likely is it that "Shines" as an itinerant musician would be wearing a Tank Watch with what appears to be a metal bracelet in the 1930s? Not very.


I dunno...he may have nicked it or won it in a card game?

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Diamond Dog » 13 Nov 2017, 20:52

The Modernist wrote:
Moleskin wrote:The other biggie is provenance. Where has this been for seventy years and where did it come from originally? I'd say that if it could be proved it came from the particular studio that would weigh in its favour.

You'd have to provide that line of ownership to verify a painting. Why not a photo?


I'm sure it could be done. It would make for a good tv programme actually. I'm sure you'd get an answer either way.

Interesting about the two guys who doubt it, but if you were defending something in a court of law you'd think twice about calling someone of nearly 100 as an expert eyewitness.


As opposed to taking the word of people who never once clapped eyes on Johnson?
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Nov 2017, 20:53

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:forensic work by someone who would benefit from making a positive match.

Benefit how? I'm pretty sure she would have been paid the same for her work regardless of the outcome. Not that I'm disputing your other points.


Moleskin wrote:The other biggie is provenance. Where has this been for seventy years and where did it come from originally? I'd say that if it could be proved it came from the particular studio that would weigh in its favour.

Shines said the photo he remembered ran in a local paper. Maybe that paper still exists in some form in a library somewhere...
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby The Modernist » 13 Nov 2017, 21:00

Thang-y wrote:It only means it's possible when things match if there's an absence of things that don't match.

The ears don't match, in Johnson's case.



I don't know how you can say that with such certainty. In the third picture his head is at a different angle making it very hard to compare.

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Goat Boy » 13 Nov 2017, 21:07

I would say the slightly droopy eyelid and finger length is suggestive of Johnson but looking at his face I wouldn't actually say it was him
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Nov 2017, 21:11

Slightly off-topic, but too inspirational to not post:

http://www.azquotes.com/author/7529-Robert_Johnson
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby The Modernist » 13 Nov 2017, 21:14

The guy in the photo actually looks like Dizzee Rascal! :lol:

Surprised this is being so easily dismissed, I think it could be Johnson personally, especially as I think there's also a resemblance between the young Shines and the older Shines.
Interesting debate though guys.

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Darryl Strawberry » 13 Nov 2017, 21:20

Charlie O. wrote:Slightly off-topic, but too inspirational to not post:

http://www.azquotes.com/author/7529-Robert_Johnson


I think this was from the early version of Hell Hounds on my Trail
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 13 Nov 2017, 21:27

Parklife! etc....

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Nov 2017, 21:29

Darryl Strawberry wrote:
Charlie O. wrote:Slightly off-topic, but too inspirational to not post:

http://www.azquotes.com/author/7529-Robert_Johnson


I think this was from the early version of Hell Hounds on my Trail
A sense of reverence is necessary for psychological health. If a person has no sense of reverence, no feeling that there is anyone or anything that inspires awe, it cuts the conscious personality off completely from the nourishing springs of the unconscious.

I'm impressed that they were able to track down a commercial from his radio show:

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Rayge » 13 Nov 2017, 22:02

T. Berry Shuffle wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:He doesn't even look like Johnson for me.


Nor did he to two people who actually knew him.


David “Honeyboy” Edwards (1915 - 2011) and Robert Lockwood Jr. (1915-2006). They both knew Johnson well, sure, but he died when they were each 23, 67 years before Schein bought the photo and asked them about it. Two guys in their 90s. Honestly, I'd take the forensic analysis over their testimony.
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 13 Nov 2017, 22:41

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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Nov 2017, 22:43

From a Schein interview in American Songwriter Magazine:

A lot of people since then, well-known musicians, have come into the shop and congratulated me on the find and agreed that it’s Johnson. Carroline Shines Edwards [Johnny’s daughter] went on her Facebook page and said it’s a photo of her father, [and that was] not with me asking but to someone else in a private conversation. So that was kind of cool. [Editor’s note: Carroline Shines Edwards told American Songwriter: “Yeah, that’s dad.”] ...

Before he passed, [blues writer and historian] Sam Charters had said he agreed that it was Johnson and Shines, and he was the one who put Shines on Chicago/The Blues/Today! [a seminal 3-disc set released by Vanguard Records in 1966]. He said he couldn’t believe how young Shines looked in that photo, but he agreed that it was absolutely him. I had that as an email from someone who had interviewed Sam Charters for a BBC documentary.

It was also on a [VH-1] TV show called For What It’s Worth. I brought the original photo to the studio because I thought it would be good to publicize it and let people see it and that it existed as a photo because some people were claiming that I photo-shopped it.

So you’ve still got the actual photo?

I still own the photo and assigned the copyright to the estate, so they control use, because it’s their family and I thought it was the right thing to do.


http://americansongwriter.com/2015/04/story-behind-robert-johnson-cover-photo/
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Re: Robert Johnson - a third photo?

Postby Diamond Dog » 14 Nov 2017, 05:04

So it was Shines. Doesn't mean it was Johnson.
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