The photo before and after repairs. The long fingers were one of the telltale clues. Photo credit: Noticias descubren.
The Guardian reports that a third photo of Delta blues legend Robert Johnson, creator of such classics as “Hellhound on My Trail” and “Crossroad Blues,” has been authenticated. The news comes a few days after the rights to the only two known photos of Johnson were finally awarded to his son by the Mississippi Supreme Court. The third photo, “newly cleaned-up and authenticated,” was released by the Johnson estate and shows him standing next to musician Johnny Shines.
Although the third photo first came to light in 2007 – on eBay! — little is known about when or where it was taken. Johnson died in 1938 — the year after he made his final recordings in Dallas at 508 Park Avenue. The verification was done by Lois Gibson, who works with the Houston police department and who’s known for successfully identifying the sailor who was captured in a Life magazine photo kissing a young nurse in Times Square on VJ day.