“Sweet Home Chicago” is a 12-bar blues song on I-IV-V chords written, recorded, and performed by Robert Johnson. Over time it has become one of the most popular anthems in the city of Chicago.
The song is a variation of “Kokomo Blues”, a song made popular by Scrapper Blackwell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Davis Madlyn and most notably James Arnold. Arnold’s version, which he recorded in 1934 as “Old Original Blues Kokomo”, was such a success that he changed his stage name to Kokomo Arnold. The first recorded version of the song by Scrapper Blackwell, in 1928 refers to the town of Kokomo, Indiana, while Robert Johnson recorded “Sweet Home Chicago” in 1936.
A host of artists and bands have covered the song, including Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Honeyboy Edwards, Freddie King, Foghat, Status Quo, Johnny Otis, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and The Blues Brothers. perhaps the best known version and listened to by the general public.
– Robert Jonhson – Vocals and guitar.