The Life of a Song: Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground
Blind Willie Johnson's gospelly, moaning adaptation of an 18th-century hymn might have seemed an odd choice for the disc of music attached to Voyager 1 in 1977. But artists from Ry Cooder to Jack White have been drawn to its ethereal power. Credit: Legacy/Columbia, Warner Bros., Alligator Records
Each week we bring you the story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions good and bad. Each episode is written and presented by an FT music critic or contributor. Formerly called FT Arts.