In 1929 an 18 year old Robert Johnson was married to Virginia Travis who was already pregnant. Johnson decided to settle down and become a family man and held down a regular job while he played music only on the weekends. Tragedy struck the Johnsons In August of 1930 when both Virginia and the child died during labor, she was only 16 years old.
Robert Johnson Blues GuitarIronically, Johnsons music improved after the tragedy. He had lost his first love as well as his unborn child and Virginia's family blamed it all on Robert because of his "evil" ways. The pain of the loss caused Robert to turn all of his energy into his music.
In 1930, not long after the death of his wife and child, Robert met a man by the name of Ike Zinnerman. Zinnerman said that he had learned to play guitar while sitting on tomb stones. Robert thought a lot of Ike's playing style and so the two remained close for several years. Robert learned as much as he could from Ike incorporating everything he discovered into his own unique style. Perhaps the legends about Robert selling his soul to the devil were spurred by this relationship with a man whom everyone looked upon as evil and devilish.
In 1938, at the young age of 27, Robert Johnson was found dead. The story goes that he was poisoned by a jealous man. Other stories say that he was shot or stabbed. The real circumstances behind his death are not known for certain. Of further interest is the fact that no one even knows for sure where he is buried.