The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“Jesus is coming soon” by Blind willie johnson

Blind Willie Johnson was a man of many different talents. Even though he had a brief career with only a span of thirty songs, he still managed to become one of the most influential practitioners of the blues. The young boy who was burned by lye went on to become a street-corner evangelist. He earned money as a blind man by entertaining people on the streets corners of Marlin, Texas until he was noticed and invited to Columbia Records to record a few tracks for them. 

The song “Jesus is Coming Soon” was recorded on December 5th, 1928 by Johnson in a small studio set up in Dallas, Texas. Blind Willie wrote this song about the flu pandemic that hit in 1918 which killed 50 to 100 million people which is three to five percent of the planet’s earth’s population. Willie Johnson told people that this song is something special to him. The song is then explained that the pandemic was to be a warning from God, it’s telling the human society to turn away from evil, pray and be with the lord. 

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