PITTSBURGH – A record store owner has found what he calls “the holy grail of 78s” in a box of old albums he picked up for $50.
Jerry Weber said he discovered a copy of the second song ever recorded by Mississippi blues legend Robert Johnson, “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” put to disc two years before Johnson’s mysterious death in 1938 at age 27.
The rarity, whose value Weber pegged at $6,000 to $12,000, was tucked in a collection of otherwise worthless, damaged old platters.
Johnson was an itinerant singer and guitarist from Hazlehurst, Miss., whose landmark recordings would influence a generation of rock ’n’ roll icons. Little is known about his life and death. In popular legend, Johnson sold his soul to the Devil at a Mississippi Delta crossroads in return for an extraordinary ability to sing and play the blues.
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