Happy Birthday Muddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Life

 

” Although in his later years Muddy usually said that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi in 1915, he was actually born at Jug’s Corner in neighboring Issaquena County in 1913. Recent research has uncovered documentation showing that in the 1930s and 1940s he reported his birth year as 1913 on both his marriage license and musicians’ union card. A 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest claim of 1915 as his year of birth, which he continued to use 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 Death Index, relying on the Social Security card application submitted after his move to Chicago in the mid-1940s, lists him as being born April 4, 1913. Muddy’s gravestone gives his birth year as 1915.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Muddy’s grandmother, Della Grant, raised him after his mother died shortly following his birth. Della gave the boy the nickname “Muddy” at an early age because he loved to play in the muddy water of nearby Deer Creek. Muddy later changed it to “Muddy Water” and finally “Muddy Waters”.

The shack where Muddy Waters lived in his youth on Stovall Plantation is now located at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He started out on harmonica, but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties, emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” On November 20, 1932, Muddy married Mabel Berry; Robert Nighthawk played guitar at the wedding, and the party reportedly got so wild the floor fell in. Mabel left Muddy three years later when Muddy’s first child was born; the child’s mother was Leola Spain, sixteen years old (Leola later used her maiden name Brown), “married to a man named Steven” and “going with a guy named Tucker”. Leola was the only one of his girlfriends with whom Muddy would stay in touch throughout his life; they never married. By the time he finally cut out for Chicago in 1943, there was another Mrs. Morganfield left behind, a girl called Sallie Ann.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muddy Waters Official Website

 

“Growing to manhood there, in the very heart of the region that had spawned this magnificent music, Waters was drawn early to its stark, telling, expressive power. He had been working as a farm laborer for several years when at thirteen he took up the harmonica, the instrument on which many blues performers first master the music’s rudiments. Four years later he made the switch to guitar. “You see, I was digging Son House and Robert Johnson.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The two were the undisputed masters of the region’s characteristic “bottleneck” style of guitar accompaniment. With this technique the Delta bluesman could utilize the guitar as a perfect extension of his voice, the sliding bottleneck matching the dips, slurs, sliding notes and all the tonal ambiguity of the voice as it is used in singing the blues.Within a year, Waters recalled, he had mastered the bottleneck style and the jagged, pulsating rhythms of Delta guitar. He had learned to sing powerfully and expressively in the tightly constricted, pain-filled manner that characterized the best Delta singers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” By the time a team of Library of Congress field collectors headed by Alan Lomax visited and recorded Waters for the Library’s folksong archives in 1941 (they were looking for Robert Johnson at the time, unaware of his death three years earlier), returning to record him further the following year, he had had several years’ local performing experience behind him.Providing the musical impetus for dancers at rough-and-tumble back country dances, in juke joints, and at picnics, houseparties and other rural entertainments had sharpened the young bluesman’s vocal and instrumental abilities to a keen edge. The recordings show the strikingly distinctive power of the young Waters, both as singer and master of Delta bottleneck guitar.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Britannica

” In 1943 Waters—like millions of other African Americans in the South who moved to cities in the North and West during the Great Migration from 1916 to 1970—relocated to Chicago. There he began playing clubs and bars on the city’s South and West sides while earning a living working in a paper mill and later driving a truck. In 1944 he bought his first electric guitar, which cut more easily through the noise of crowded bars. He soon broke with country blues by playing electric guitar in a shimmering slide style. In 1946 pianist Sunnyland Slim, another Delta native, helped Waters land a contract with Aristocrat Records, for which he made several unremarkable recordings. By 1948 Aristocrat had become Chess Records (taking its name from Leonard and Phil Chess, the Polish immigrant brothers who owned and operated it), and Waters was recording a string of hits for it that began with “I Feel Like Going Home” and “I Can’t Be Satisfied.” His early, aggressive, electrically amplified band—including pianist Otis Spann, guitarist Jimmie Rodgers, and harmonica virtuoso Little Walter—created closely integrated support for his passionate singing, which featured dramatic shouts, swoops, and falsetto moans. His repertoire, much of which he composed, included lyrics that were mournful (“Blow Wind Blow,” “Trouble No More”), boastful (“Got My Mojo Working,” “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man”), and frankly sensual (the unusual 15-bar blues “Rock Me”). In the process Waters became the foremost exponent of modern Chicago blues.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Tours of clubs in the South and Midwest in the 1940s and ’50s gave way after 1958 to concert tours of the United States and Europe, including frequent dates at jazz, folk, and blues festivals. Over the years, some of Chicago’s premier blues musicians did stints in Waters’s band, including harmonica players James Cotton and Junior Wells, as well as guitarist Buddy Guy. Toward the end of his career, Waters concentrated on singing and played guitar only occasionally. A major influence on a variety of rock musicians—most notably the Rolling Stones (who took their name from his song “Rollin’ Stone” and made a pilgrimage to Chess to record)—Waters was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allmusic

 

” By the end of the ’50s, while Waters was still making fine music, his career was going into a slump. The rise of rock & roll had taken the spotlight away from more traditional blues acts in favor of younger and rowdier acts (ironically, Waters had headlined some of Alan Freed‘s early “Moondog” package shows), and Waters‘ first tour of England in 1958 was poorly received by many U.K. blues fans, who were expecting an acoustic set and were startled by the ferocity of Waters‘ electric guitar. Waters began playing more acoustic music informed by his Mississippi Delta heritage in the years that followed, even issuing an album titled Muddy Waters: Folk Singer in 1964. However, the jolly irony was that British blues fans would soon rekindle interest in Waters and electric Chicago blues; as the rise of the British Invasion made the world aware of the U.K. rock scene, the nascent British blues scene soon followed, and a number of Waters‘ U.K. acolytes became international stars, such as Eric Clapton,John MayallAlexis Korner, and a modestly successful London act who named themselves after Muddy‘s 1950 hit “Rollin’ Stone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” While Waters was still leading a fine band that delivered live (and included the likes of Pinetop Perkins on piano and James Cotton on harmonica), Chess Records was moving more toward the rock, soul, and R&B marketplace, and seemed eager to market him to white rock fans, a notion that reached its nadir in 1968 with Electric Mud, in which Waters was paired up with a psychedelic rock band (featuring guitarists Pete Cosey and Phil Upchurch) for rambling and aimless jams on Waters‘ blues classics. 1969’s Fathers and Sons was a more inspired variation on this theme, with Waters playing alongside reverential white blues rockers such as Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield; 1971’s The London Muddy Waters Sessions was less impressive, featuring fine guitar work from Rory Gallagher but uninspired contributions from Steve WinwoodRick Grech, and Georgie Fame.”

 

 

 

 

 

” Curiously, while Chess Records helped Waters make some of the finest blues records of the ’50s and ‘60s, it was the label’s demise that led to his creative rebirth. In 1969, the Chess Brothers sold the label to General Recorded Tape, and the label went through a long, slow commercial decline, finally folding in 1975. (Waters would become one of several Chess artists who sued the label for unpaid royalties in its later years.) Johnny Winter, a longtime Waters fan, heard the blues legend was without a record deal, and was instrumental in getting Waters signed to Blue Sky Records, a CBS-distributed label that had become his recording home.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ” Winter produced the sessions for Waters‘ first Blue Sky release, and sat in with a band comprised of members of Waters‘ road band (including Bob Margolin and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith) along with James Cotton on harp and Pinetop Perkins on piano. 1977’s Hard Again was a triumph, sounding as raw and forceful as Waters‘ classic Chess sides, with a couple extra decades of experience informing his performances, and it was rightly hailed as one of the finest albums Waters ever made while sparking new interest in his music. (It also earned him a Grammy award for Best Traditional or Ethnic Folk Recording.) “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Hall Of Fame

 

” Waters also capitalized on the folk-music craze of the late Fifties and early Sixties with a series of albums that found him assaying acoustic blues on such albums as Muddy Waters Sings Big Bill (a tribute to rural bluesman Big Bill Broonzy, released in 1960), Muddy Waters, Folk Singer (1964) and The Real Folk Blues (1966). Less successful were attempts to contemporize his sound with such ill-advised efforts as “Muddy Waters Twist” (a 1962 single) and Electric Mud (an album of psychedelic blues from 1968). More satisfying by far were a couple of albums – Fathers and Sons (1969) and The London Muddy Waters Sessions (1972) – that found Waters accompanied by such vanguard rock musicians as Mike Bloomfield and Eric Clapton. His thirty-year tenure with Chess Records ended in 1975 with the release of The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album. From here, he moved to the Blue Sky label (a Columbia subsidiary). “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Waters’ audience grew exponentially following his electrifying performance in The Last Waltz, a film documentary (produced by Martin Scorsese) of The Band’s farewell concert. Staged at San Francisco’s Winterland ballroom, the Thanksgiving 1976 event was a star-studded affair. Water’s scalding rendition of “Mannish Boy” – on which he was accompanied by The Band and Paul Butterfield on harmonica – was an unforgettable highlight. Subsequent to that, he kept the momentum going with a series of uncompromising albums for Blue Sky that were produced by longtime fan Johnny Winter. These included Hard Again (1977), I’m Ready (1978), Muddy Mississippi Waters Live (1979) and King Bee (1981). All were critical and popular successes. “

 

 

 

 

 

” In addition to his musical legacy, Waters helped cultivate a great respect for the blues as one of its most commanding and articulate figureheads. Drummer Levon Helm of The Band, who worked with him on The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album and at The Last Waltz, had this to say about him in a Goldmine magazine interview: “Muddy taught us to take things in context, to be respectful, and to be serious about our music, as he was. He showed us music is a sacred thing.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Waters, who remained active till the end, died of a heart attack in 1983. He was 68 years old. In the years since his death, the one-room cedar shack in which he lived on the Stovall Plantation has been preserved as a memorial to Waters’ humble origins”

 

 

 

 

Discography

 

Muddy Waters At Newport 1960

‎ ◄ (16 versions)

Chess 1960

Muddy Waters Sings “Big Bill”

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Chess 1960

Folk Singer

‎ ◄ (16 versions)

Pye International 1964

Down On Stovall’s Plantation

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Testament Records 1966

Muddy, Brass & The Blues

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Chess 1966

More Real Folk Blues

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Chess 1967

Bo DiddleyLittle WalterMuddy Waters – Super Blues ‎ ◄ (10 versions)

Checker 1967

Howlin’ WolfMuddy Waters & Bo Diddley – The Super Super Blues Band ‎ ◄ (8 versions)

CheckerChess 1967

Electric Mud

‎ ◄ (16 versions)

Cadet Concept Records 1968

After The Rain

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Cadet Concept Records 1969

The Real Folk Blues

‎ ◄ (7 versions)

Chess 1969

Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald “Duck” Dunn / Sam Lay – Fathers And Sons‎ ◄ (18 versions)

Chess 1969

Bo DiddleyLittle WalterMuddy Waters – Super Blues ‎ (LP, Album)

Bellaphon 1969

“Live” (At Mr. Kelly’s)

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Chess 1971

“Live” (At Mr. Kelly’s)

‎ (LP)

Chess 1971

Back In The Early Days Volumes 1 And 2

‎ (2xLP)

Syndicate Chapter 1971

Rare Live Recordings Vol. 2

‎ (LP)

Python 1972

The London Muddy Waters Sessions

‎ ◄ (11 versions)

Chess 1973

Mud In Your Ear

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Muse Records 1973

Can’t Get No Grindin’

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Chess 1973

Muddy Waters & Howlin’ Wolf – London Revisited ‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Chess 1974

“Unk” In Funk

‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Chess 1974

The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album

‎ ◄ (6 versions)

Chess 1975

Hard Again

‎ ◄ (16 versions)

Blue Sky 1977

I’m Ready

‎ ◄ (13 versions)

Blue Sky 1978

Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live

‎ ◄ (16 versions)

Blue Sky 1979

Mississippi

‎ (LP, Album)

Cleo 1980

King Bee

‎ ◄ (15 versions)

Blue Sky 1981

Rolling Stone

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Chess 1982

Hoochie Coochie Man

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Blue Sky 1983

B.B. King & Big Mama Thornton & Muddy Waters – Live At Newport ‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Blue Moon 1984

I Can’t Be Satisfied

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Showcase 1985

Live In Paris, 1968

‎ (LP)

France’s Concert 1988

Live In Antibes, 1974

‎ (LP, Album)

France’s Concert 1988

Live

‎ (CD)

Roots (6) 1990

Live

‎ (LP)

Roots (6) 1990

Goin’ Home (Live In Paris 1970)

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Last Call Records 1992

Chicago Blues

‎ ◄ (4 versions)

Orbis 1994

Otis Spann With Muddy Waters & His Band* – Live The Life ‎ (CD, Album)

Testament Records 1997

Live In Chicago, 1979

‎ (CD, Album)

Altaya 1997

Champion Jack Dupree / Muddy Waters – Me And My Mule ‎ (CD, Album)

TKO Collectors 1999

Country Blues

‎ (LP)

Past Perfect Silver Line 2000

The Lost Tapes

‎ (LP, 180)

Blind Pig Records 2008

Live / Fillmore Auditorium – San Francisco 11/04-06/1966

‎ ◄ (2 versions)

Chess 2009

Stepping Stone

‎ (CD, Mud + 2xCD, Rol + 3xCD, I’m + 4xCD, The + 5xDV)

Proper Records Ltd. 2009

Blow Blues Blow

‎ (CD, Album, Dig)

Music Avenue 2010

The Rough Guide To Blues Legends: Muddy Waters: Country Blues

‎ (LP, Ltd, RM, 180)

World Music Network 2011

Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones, The – Checkerboard Lounge, Live Chicago 1981 ‎ ◄ (5 versions)

Eagle Vision 2012

Down On Stovall’s Plantation

‎ (LP)

Doxy 2013

Hard Again

‎ (LP, Album)

Epic Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concert Videos

I Hear The Blues-Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lonnie Johnson-Granada TV

Blues and Gospel Train – 1964 – Muddy Waters, Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny & Brownie, Cousin Joe Pleasants

Muddy Waters – Live At The Chicago Fest 1981

Messin’ With The Blues [live ’74]

Johnny Winter & Muddy Waters Soundstage 1974

Muddy Waters Blues Summit in Chicago

Muddy.Waters.Live.68.-.78

 

 

 

Interviews

Muddy Waters Interview

 

 

Links , Fan Pages Etc…

Muddy Waters – Listen to Free Music by Muddy Waters on …

Muddy Waters Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – …

iTunes – Music – Muddy Waters – Apple

Muddy Waters | Bio, Pictures, Videos | Rolling Stone

Muddy Waters – Profile of Chicago Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Free Music Online – Internet Radio – Jango

Muddy Waters – New World Encyclopedia

Trail of the Hellhound: Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters – wolfgangsvault.com

Muddy Waters, a Mississippi musician – Mississippi writers …

Muddy Waters | Facebook

Muddy Waters Historical Exhibit & Blues Tribute Website

Muddy Waters – NNDB: Tracking the entire world

Muddy Waters : NPR

Muddy Waters – Always Victorian

Muddy Waters – All About Jazz

LivinBlues- Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters Biography | Bluescentric – Blues t-shirts | delta …

Muddy Waters | Legacy Recordings

 

 

 

Obituaries

Muddy Waters, Blues Performer, Dies – The New York Times …

Meet McKinley Morganfield – Hattiesburg American | Hattiesburg …

Legends & Legacies | Notable Obituaries and Deaths in the News …

Rhythm and Blues 60s Oldies Man: News Obituaries

Muddy Waters Changed Music Forever With His Trip Up the Blues …

Blues Foundation Honors Muddy Waters With Blues Trail Marker …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest In Peace Muddy Waters 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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