Today on Blogcritics

The MSNBC Files

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Somewhat to my surprise, several Blogcritics and some readers have indicated they weren’t aware that I write for MSNBC.com. I am forever indebted to Jan Herman for bringing me in to the fold, and I miss his editorial expertise greatly – be sure to check out Jan’s great Straight Up column here on Blogcritics.

In case you are interested, here are my most recent stories with MSNBC.com, a few others are no longer available online:

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears – whither since the breakup?

Springsteen holds on to the magic – In hands of The Boss and band, rock ‘n’ roll can still inspire. A wrap-up of latest tour.

Sweet music in Year of the Blues – Compilations show evolution, continued growth of genre. A history of blues and thoughts on the Scorsese PBS series.

Dolly Parton vs. Martha Stewart: For America, they are two ends of a wide spectrum of femininity. Ever opposites – and icons.

Metallica rethinks the Internet: Band is making Web site a download ‘temple’

The music biz in a Pearl Jam. Internet road to independence: Will the band’s exit from Epic stampede the dinosaur labels?

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    I wasn’t aware of it, so went and checked your column on the PBS Blues series.

    Nice work, with a minor quibble: you pass on the myth that it was Robert Johnson that sold his soul to the devil.

    What happened was that Robert Johnson was sharp and took advantage of the similarity of his name to the real blues singer that started the myth of selling his soul to the devil” _TOMMY_ Johnson. Tommy ended up dying (too soon) and the myth stuck to Robert.

    There’s more in “Deep Blues” by Robert Palmer, and they got it right in “Oh, Brother, where art thou” – the guitarist picked up at the crossroads was named Tommy, played by Chris Thomas King, a contemporary Blues genius (he also played Blind Willie in the PBS series).

    This isn’t to take anything away from Robert Johnson, who was definitely a great. Rumor has it that just before he died he was starting to mess around with amplified guitars. I sometimes wonder how blues history would have worked out had he lived and continued on that track.