By: Sydney Stoops
The song above is 'Crossroad Blues' by Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson was a 1930s blues performer, who was one of the best at his time. The song was written and recorded in 1936 by Robert Johnson. The song speaks at the beginning about asking for forgiveness but later talks about not getting a ride and is scared because he is all alone and it's dark out, and he's standing at the crossroads not knowing what to do.
Another fact about Robert is a myth that he sold his soul at the crossroads to the devil so he could play the guitar well.
Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd and The Kansas City Massacre
Also known as Choc, because of his love for Choctaw beer, Floyd became one of the most notorious and celebrated criminals in the nation. Floyd was born on February 3rd, 1904 in Georgia. At age 16 he went on the road in Oklahoma and Kansas as a hired hand, but soon grew tired of labor and got involved in bootlegging and other illegal activities. He married in 1924 to a girl named Ruby who had a son a year later. He soon grew restless and traded gallons of corn whiskey for a pistol. In 1925 he and a friend jumped a train and took part in a robbery that got them nearly $12,000. It also earned Floyd a five year sentence in prison. 1929 ruby took custody of their son and attempted to divorce Choc,but he would not consent this action.
Soon after being released from prison Floyd goes to Kansas city where he meets his next girlfriend Beulah Baird who gave him his most famous nickname "Pretty Boy". In his life time Pretty Boy Floyd committed over 30 successful bank robberies but was caught in Ohio and soon escaped through a train window. He also was a 'modern day robin hood' who often bought Christmas presents for the poor, bought their groceries, and gave money to them, which was a huge part of the population during this time period.
On April 9th, 1932 Pretty Boy Floyd shot and killed Erv kelley, a federal agent, during a raid in which a few days before his friend and partner in crime Bill "The Killer" Miller was killed. Oklahoma's governor put a bounty out for Floyd at $6,000. But in the middle of the great depression no one was willing to turn in a bank robber who gave to the poor. Pretty Boy Floyd was now a number one enemy.
Pretty Boy Floyd was praised in a song written by Woodie Guthrie that isn't negative but up lifting the criminal.
The Kansas City Massacre
June 17th 1933 The Kansas massacre was a shooting of four law officers and their prisoner in an attempt to free a friend and fellow prisoner of Pretty Boy Floyd, Vernon Miller and Adam Richetti, Frank Nash. At the time the law officers were taking Nash back to a prison from which he escaped. Floyd and his friends waited at Union Railway Station awaiting Frank Nash. When the officers and Nash arrived a shooting broke out killing the officers and Frank Nash but Floyd and his gang escaped.
After being pursued for over four years Floyd was spotted near a corn field in East Liverpool, Ohio where law officers and F.B.I. agents shot and killed the infamous Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd on October 22 1934.
Bing Crosby (1903-1977)
Bing Crosby was born on May 2nd, 1903. Crosby was an American singer and actor whose music had a major impact on the world back then and today. He was one of the best selling recording artist of the early 20th century. His White Christmas is still one of the best selling Christmas songs of all time. Crosby sang with a laid back, swing-jazz sound that people fell in love with.
Pennies from Heaven was performed by Bing Crosby in 1936. His recording of the song was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. The song was premiered with a film with the same name, "Pennies From Heaven". The song talks about the best things in life and enjoying life as it is. It also speaks on how something good comes from everything, even when it rains, you get pennies from heaven, which are unexpected benefits.
"Bing Crosby." Bing Crosby Biography. All Music, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. <http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bing-crosby-mn0000094
FBI. "Kansas City Massacre—Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd." FBI. FBI, 21 May 2010.Web. 11 \Apr. 2014. <http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous- cases/kansas-city-massacre-pretty- boy-floyd>.
Geringer, Joseph. "CHARLES ARTHUR FLOYD: 'PRETTY BOY' FROM COOKSON HILLS."Kansas Cityto Akron — Story on Charles Arthur Floyd — Crime Library.Crimelibrary.com, 3 May 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://www.crimelibrary.com/gangsters_outlaws/outlaws/floyd/3.html>.
History Channel. "Pretty Boy Floyd is killed by the FBI." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://www.history.com/this-day-in- history/pretty-boy- floyd-is-killed-by-the-fbi>.
Robert Johnson." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/robert-johnson-9356324.>.
Wallis, Michael. "FLOYD, CHARLES ARTHUR (1904-1934).." FLOYD, CHARLES ARTHUR (1904- 1934).. Oklahoma Historical Society, 1 Jan. 1992. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. <http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/f/fl004.html>.
All music comes from Spotify.