Places In Blues History
The Crossroads is the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 49 in Clarksdale, Coahoma County, Mississippi where, according to legend, Robert Johnson reputedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his prowess on guitar. Robert Johnson’s song Cross Road Blues is about this legend.
The GPS location of the Crossroads is: N 34° 11.689′ W 90° 33.384′
Robert Johnson’s song Cross Road Blues, recorded in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio for Brunswick Records on 23 November 1936, is about the legend associated with this intersection in Clarksdale.
Here’s a video of Robert Johnson’s Cross Road Blues which has been posted on YouTube. It has an animation of the basic legend of the Crossroads.
Robert Johnson’s Cross Road Blues was introduced to a much wider audience through a cover by Cream, titled Crossroads, on the Wheels Of Fire album, released in 1968.
Here’s a video of Cream performing Crossroads at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 November 1968.
Note the lyric “Going down to Rosedale, with my rider by my side…”
Cream‘s version of Crossroads is mentioned on the Mississippi Blues Trail‘s marker in Rosedale, Mississippi, an easy drive from Clarksdale.
Here’s a video of Cream performing Crossroads at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.
Would you like to leave a comment or question about anything on this page?