Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson's Journey to the Stars

Gary Golio (Author) E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)


The poignant story of Blind Willie Johnson--the legendary Texas musician whose song Dark Was the Night was included on the Voyager I space probe's Golden Record

Willie Johnson was born in 1897, and from the beginning he loved to sing--and play his cigar box guitar. But his childhood was interrupted when he lost his mother and his sight. How does a blind boy make his way in the world? Fortunately for Willie, the music saved him and brought him back into the light. His powerful voice, combined with the wailing of his slide guitar, moved people. Willie made a name for himself performing on street corners all over Texas. And one day he hit it big when he got a record deal and his songs were played on the radio. Then in 1977, his song--Dark Was the Night--was chosen to light up the darkness when it was launched into space on the Voyager I space probe's famous Golden Record. His immortal song was selected for the way it expresses the loneliness humans all feel, while reminding us we're not alone.

Product Details

$17.99  $16.55
Nancy Paulsen Books
Publish Date
August 25, 2020
8.7 X 11.3 X 0.4 inches | 0.83 pounds

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About the Author

Gary Golio is a fine artist, musician, and psychotherapist. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow--A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix and many other award-winning books. He lives in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

E. B. Lewis is the acclaimed illustrator of more than seventy picture books, including Each Kindness, The Other Side, and Caldecott Honor book Coming on Home Soon (all by Jacqueline Woodson); Preaching to the Chickens (by Jabari Asim); and several Coretta Scott King Award winners, such as Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman and The Bat Boy and His Violin. He taught art in public schools for twelve years, and currently teaches at the University of Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.