Love in Vain

Love in Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson

Alan Greenberg
FOREWORD BY Martin Scorsese
INTRODUCTION BY Stanley Crouch
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 272
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctt2jccmv
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  • Book Info
    Love in Vain
    Book Description:

    Robert Johnson was undoubtedly the most outstanding of the Mississippi Delta blues musicians and also one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but his short life remains steeped in mystery and wrapped in some of the most enduring legends of modern music.Love in Vainis Alan Greenberg's remarkable, highly acclaimed, and genre-defying screenplay and is widely considered to be one of the foremost books on Robert Johnson's life and legacy and an extraordinary exercise in American mythmaking. Newly revised and complete with extensive historical notes on Johnson's life and the culture of the Mississippi Delta and blues music during the 1930s,Love in Vainis at once a classic of music writing and a screenplay whose reputation lies firmly in the realm of great American literature.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8217-1
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Martin Scorsese

    I REMEMBER first hearing about Robert Johnson at a time when all my friends who were serious about music seemed to be listening to the blues—therealstuff, guys like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters. Of them all, Johnson was the most intriguing, perhaps because he was also the most obscure. The thing about Robert Johnson was that he only existed on his records. He was pure legend. Even the experts didn’t have much of a clue as to who he really was—just that he recorded a total...

  5. INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EDITION: PRINTING THE LEGEND
    (pp. xv-xx)
    Stanley Crouch

    I FIND IT FITTING that the first book written about Mississippi’s Delta blues legend Robert Johnson is grounded as much in myth, legend, and tall tale as in research. The work’s obvious inclination toward the fantastic and the cultural metaphors of superstition separates it from those largely fictional film biographies that are pushed forward as factual; it also proposes that we can learn as much from good mythology as from fine documentation—if the mythology carries or transmits how a world may havefeltto those participants, onlookers, and descendants swept up in the lore of time and impatient with...

  6. LOVE IN VAIN
    (pp. 1-144)

    A hard rain, and the tiny white clapboard church on the edge of the field glows softly by candlelight from within. There, an entranced choir of female voices coos and moans hypnotically.

    A stout black woman steps out the side door into the downpour. She picks up an ax beneath the chinaberry tree and hustles about, chopping hard at the rain and the muddy ground. From inside the church, the voice of the PREACHER rises above his choir.

    Brothers and sisters, in being a duty-bound servant of God I stand before you tonight to try to bring you a message...

  7. Photographs
    (pp. 145-150)
  8. NOTES
    (pp. 151-206)
  9. RECORDINGS USED IN THE RESEARCH AND WRITING OF LOVE IN VAIN
    (pp. 207-210)
  10. PERMISSIONS
    (pp. 211-215)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 216-216)