Terraplane Blues

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"Terraplane Blues"
Original 78 record label
Single by Robert Johnson
ReleasedMarch 1937 (1937-03)
RecordedNovember 23, 1936
StudioGunter Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
Songwriter(s)Robert Johnson
Producer(s)Don Law

"Terraplane Blues" is a blues song recorded in 1936 in San Antonio, Texas, by bluesman Robert Johnson. Vocalion issued it as Johnson's first 78 rpm record, backed with "Kind Hearted Woman Blues", in March 1937. The song became a moderate regional hit, selling up to 10,000 copies.[1]

Johnson used the car model Terraplane as a metaphor for sex. In the lyrical narrative, the car will not start and Johnson suspects that his girlfriend let another man drive it when he was gone. In describing the various mechanical problems with his Terraplane, Johnson creates a setting of thinly veiled sexual innuendo.[2] The guitar parts in "Terraplane Blues" are similar to those in Johnson's "Stones in My Passway".[citation needed]


  1. ^ Conforth, Bruce; Wardlow, Gayle Dean (2019). Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson. Chicago Review Press. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-1-64160-094-1.
  2. ^ Robert, Palmer (1981). Deep Blues. Penguin Books. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-14-006223-6.