Making himself a cigar box guitar at the age of 5, Johnson spent his life singing gospel music and preaching on street corners for tips. He was born in 1897 near Brenham and was blinded by lye thrown in his face when he was 7. Discovered by Columbia records, he recorded 30 songs in the late 1920's. His work has been covered by many artists, including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, the Grateful Dead and the Staple Singers. He died in Beaumont in 1945 where, after a house fire, he lived in the remains of his home, contracting malaria.
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