Blind Willie Johnson (1897-1945) was a blues gospel singer, sidewalk performer, and preacher. He had only five recording sessions in his short life. Johnson was not born blind; many scholars feel he was blinded by his stepmother when, during an argument with his father, she threw a solution of lye water when Willie was seven.
This hymn -- "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" -- was one of 27 recordings aboard the Voyager spacecraft in hopes that it might eventually reach other life forms in the universe. The song was also selected by the Library of congress for inclusion in the National Recording Registry of significant recordings. A powerful song.