Muddy Waters Part One
I can’t believe it, I’m doing Muddy Waters Part One, and I’m going to do him like I haven’t seen anyone else has.
McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913— April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who is often cited as the “father of modern Chicago blues“, and an important figure on the post-war blues scene.
McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913— April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who is often cited as the “father of modern Chicago blues“, and an important figure on the post-war blues scene. Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters c. 1975
April 4, 1913
Issaquena County, Mississippi, U.S.
April 30, 1983 (aged 70).
* Blues Chicago blues Delta blues.
* Musician songwriter bandleader.
* Vocals guitar harmonica.
* Aristocrat Chess Blue Sky.
Muddy Waters grew up on Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi, and by age 17 was playing the guitar and the harmonica, emulating the local blues artistsSon House and Robert Johnson. He was recorded in Mississippi by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941. In 1943, he moved to Chicago to become afull-time professional musician. In 1946, he recorded his first records for Columbia Records and then for Aristocrat Records, a newly formed label run by the brothers Leonard and Phil Chess.
In the early 1950s, Muddy Waters and his band— Little Walter Jacobs on harmonica,Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Elga Edmonds (also known as Elgin Evans) on drums and OtisSpann on piano— recorded several blues classics, some with the bassist andsongwriter Willie Dixon. These songs included “Hoochie Coochie Man“, “I Just Wantto Make Love to You“ and “I‘m Ready“. In 1958, he traveled to England, laying thefoundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. His performance atthe Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 was recorded and released as his first livealbum, At Newport 1960.
Muddy Waters‘ influence is incalculable, on blues as well as other American idioms— such as Rock and roll and Rock music.
Muddy Waters‘ birthplace and date are not conclusively known. He stated that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1915, but other evidence suggests that he was born in Jug‘s Corner, in neighboring Issaquena County, in 1913. In the 1930s and 1940s, before his rise to fame, the year of his birth was reported as1913 on his marriage license, recording notes, and musicians‘ union card. A 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest in which he stated 1915 as the year of his birth, and he continued to say this in interviews from that point onward. The 1920 census lists him as five years old as of March 6, 1920,suggesting that his birth year may have been 1914. The Social Security DeathIndex, relying on the Social Security card application submitted after his move toChicago in the mid-1940s, lists him as being born April 4, 1913. His grave stone gives his birth year as 1915. His grandmother, Della Grant, raised him afterhis mother died shortly after his birth. Grant gave him the nickname “Muddy“ at an early age because he loved to play in the muddy water of nearby Deer Creek. “Waters“ was added years later, as he began to play harmonica and perform locally in his early teens. The remains of the cabin on Stovall Plantation where he lived in his youth are now at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He had his first introduction to music in church: “I used to belong tochurch. I was a good Baptist, singing in the church. So I got all of my good moaning and trembling going on for me right out of church,“ he recalled. Bythe time he was 17, he had purchased his first guitar. “I sold the last horse thatwe had. Made about fifteen dollars for him, gave my grandmother seven dollars andfifty cents, I kept seven-fifty and paid about two-fifty for that guitar. It was aStella. The people ordered them from Sears-Roebuck in Chicago.“ He started playing his songs in joints near his hometown, mostly on a plantation owned byColonel William Howard Stovall.