Hot Tamales Was: Where RJ died, and how to establish it.....

Tom Freeland thf4@WATERVALLEY.NET
Sun Oct 18 12:50:43 EDT 1998

On 18 Oct 98, Andy Allu wrote:

> I remember hearing somewhere that Johnson claimed his brother
> originally wrote that song.... anybody else recall that?

The song credit on the 78 is "Red Johnson."  Robert Johnson had only
half-siblings-- his mother's other children all had other fathers,
most of them by Charles Dodds (to confuse matters further, Dodds went
by more than one name when he was fleeing Hazelhurst in the second
decade of the century and thereafter).  So there would not have been
a brother named Johnson.  HOWEVER, interviews in the 1960s
established that Johnson had a brother who was a musician whose
nickname was Red.  Did Johnson tell the record men his "brother Red"
wrote "They're Red Hot" leading to the mistaken attribution? That
would be my guess, but who knows.

Tom Jacobson has expressed a really wacky theory on this
attribution, but I think he may have changed his mind.  ;-0

Tom Freeland

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