Bluesman's Birthplace

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The mystery surrounding bluesman Robert Johnson's life and death feeds the lingering fascination with his work.

There's the myth that he sold his soul to the devil, and the fact the location of his 1938 death is still disputed. His birthplace, however, has been verified. He was born in a house built by his stepfather in the Mississippi town of Hazlehurst.

Local officials plan to restore the home in hopes of drawing Johnson fans to the area. They are trying to raise $250,000 for the restoration project. The 1,500-square foot home now owned by the county has fallen into disrepair, but it still bears evidence of craftsmanship.

Pianist George Winston will headline a fundraiser for the renovation project on Monday at Belhaven College in Jackson.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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