Muddy Waters Biography

McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, was born in Rolling Fork, Missisippi, on April 4, 1915. He learned the harmonica at 13 and then the guitar at 17. He was influenced by the great delta bluesman, Son House and Robert Johnson, and within a year he had mastered the "bottleneck" style of guitar accompaniment they used so well. In 1941, Alan Lomax and company visited and recorded Muddy while searching for the legendary Robert Johnson (they were unaware Johnson had died 3 years before) and then returned the following year to record him further.

In 1943, He moved to Chicago and bought his first electric guitar and gradually built up a following for his style of delta blues which included a switch from the standard aoustic to electric guitar, a harmonica, and a rhythm section. His recording of I Can't be Satisfied/I Feel Like Going Home for Aristocrat Records (later Chess Records) in 1948 found an appreciative audience, and the birth of modern chicago blues had arrived.

In the 1950's, with the help of bandsmen such as Willie Dixon. Jimmie Rodgers,Otis Spann, Little Walter, and Elgin Evans, he had a string of hits including Rollin Stone (The Rolling Stones took there name from this song), Honey Bee, I'm your Hoochie Coochie Man, Got My Mojo Working, to name but a few. He was also instrumental in the advancement of both Howlin' Wolf's and Chuck Berry's careers.

His 1958 tour of England brought the electric guitar and his chicago blues abroad and influencing the young, soon-to-be rock and rollers of the so called "British Invasion." His now famous recording sessions in London with artist such as Rory Gallagher,et al in the late sixties and his Fathers and Sons recordings in America with Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield gave access to his music to a new audience : middle class whites.

In 1971 he won the first of many Grammys with They Call Me Muddy Waters. By 1976 he had left Chess Records and signed with Blue Sky, where he made 3 of his best-selling records, Hard Again, I'm Ready, and King Bee with the help of producer/guitar protege Johnny Winters. His last performance was in June 1982 with Eric Clapton. He died a year later at the age of 68 in his home in Westmont. Illinois. He was inducted into the rock and roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

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