A Third Photograph Of Robert Johnson Has Been Discovered

For decades there have been only two known photos of Robert Johnson. Now a third photo of Robert Johnson has been discovered.

Here are links to articles about this recently discovered photograph of Robert Johnson:

The previous two known photographs of Robert Johnson have been used to illustrate album covers and book covers.

Here are two examples of book covers using one of the first two known photographs of Robert Johnson:

Up Jumped The Devil, The Real Life of Robert Johnson, by Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow, is one of our Recommended Books.
Up Jumped The Devil, The Real Life of Robert Johnson, by Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow, is one of our Recommended Books.
Book cover, Escaping The Delta - Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, by Elijah Wald.
Book cover, ,Escaping The Delta – Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues by Elijah Wald.

Here is an example of a CD cover using the second of the first two known photographs of Robert Johnson:

CD cover, Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings. This is the edition we are currently recommending.
CD cover, Robert Johnson – The Complete Recordings. This is the edition we are currently recommending.

The photo used on the CD cover above was taken at Hooks Brothers Photography at 164 Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

Kings Palace Cafe, 162-164 Beale Street, Memphis, TN. The second floor was once occupied by Hooks Brothers Photography. The only known studio portrait of Robert Johnson was taken by Hooks Brothers Photography.
Kings Palace Cafe, 162-164 Beale Street, Memphis, TN. The second floor was once occupied by Hooks Brothers Photography. The only known studio portrait of Robert Johnson was taken by Hooks Brothers Photography.

We have written a post about the former Hooks Brothers Photography Studio.

The former Hooks Brothers Photography Studio is now a pool hall. We think this was once a Hooks Brothers studio room.
The former Hooks Brothers Photography Studio is now a pool hall. We think this was once a Hooks Brothers studio room.

The Mississippi Blues Trail marker commemorating Robert Johnson is outside the Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church south of Money, Mississippi.

Mississippi Blues Trail marker for Robert Johnson, Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Money Road, Leflore County, Mississippi
Mississippi Blues Trail marker for Robert Johnson, Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Money Road, Leflore County, Mississippi

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Hooks Brothers Photography – Where The Only Known Studio Portrait of Robert Johnson Was Taken

Tennessee Historical Commission Markers – Hooks Brothers Photography, 164 Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

This Tennessee Historical Commission marker is located outside the King’s Palace Cafe at 162 Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.The Hooks Brothers Photography Studio was located at 164 Beale Street, which is now the second floor of the King’s Palace Cafe building, in the space currently occupied by the Absinthe Pool Room.

Hooks Brothers Photography was established in 1907 at 164 Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee and, over the years, took photographic portraits of many well known people in Memphis history, particularly people from the African-American community.

Circa 1934-1938, Hooks Brothers Photography also took the only known studio portrait of a then virtually unknown blues musician named Robert Johnson.

Tennessee Historical Commission marker (front) for Hooks Brothers Photography, outside 164 Beale Street, Memphis
Tennessee Historical Commission marker (front) for Hooks Brothers Photography, outside 164 Beale Street, Memphis

The front of this marker reads:

“HOOKS BROTHERS PHOTOGRAPHY ESTABLISHED IN 1907 – Established by Henry Hooks, Sr. and his brother Robert B. Hooks, Hooks Brothers Photography Studio was the second oldest continuously operating black business in Memphis. Located during its early years at 164 Beale Street, it next moved to Linden Avenue and finally to McLemore Avenue where it ceased operation after a destructive fire in 1979.”  Continue reading Hooks Brothers Photography – Where The Only Known Studio Portrait of Robert Johnson Was Taken