I was told the story of the Golden Record on the Voyager - a space probe that was sent out in to the universe, containing music from all over the world including bagpipes, Beethoven, Chuck Barry, and Blind Willie Johnson. In fact, Blind Willie Johnson's song is the penultimate song, followed by Beethoven. The blind and deaf next to each other. As my friend played the music of Blind Willie Johnson in my kitchen, he then told me the story of Blind Willie Johnson.
Blind Willie Johnson lost his sight when his mother threw acid in his eyes. He became a gospel blues singer and songwriter, lived a poor and unknown life. He died when he contracted malaria and then was not permitted into a hospital because he was blind and black. But his music was found, and now, it's speeding through the universe, blasting for anyone who will listen.
Here's the song they put on the Golden Record, and I'll be damned if you don't have goosebumps after hearing it and knowing what you now know: