The stories of moonshine and moonshiners have a mystical appeal to many. The practice seems entwined with dark magic. One episode in the history of American Blues music depicts the dangers of moonshine and had to do with the poisoning death of one of the chief architects of that stream of music, Mr. Robert Johnson. Johnson was the one who … as the tales tell … ‘sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads’ so that he could become capable to play his guitar and create songs that defied human possibilities. Robert Johnson purportedly was having a … dalliance with a woman named Beatrice. Her husband was apprised of this malfeasance and laced a bottle of moonshine that he’d dissolved some mothballs in. Beatrice unknowingly provided her love a poison in the process as Johnson took a stage break that evening as he performed at the ‘Three Forks’ juke joint on the night of August 13, 1938. Soon the bluesman began to bleed internally. He died three days later at the age of 27. As a side note many music trivia fans know that this is a club you really don’t want to be a member of.
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show!