Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters, whose real name was McKinley Morganfield, was born on April 4, 1913 (although the artist claimed he was born two years later) in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. He is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of Chicago blues and beyond, as a figure of American blues. As a child, Muddy Waters was raised by his grandmother, Della Grant, in the absence of his mother, who died shortly after his birth. It was Della who gave him his nickname "Muddy", as he loved to wade in the muddy waters of Deer Creek. Young McKinley Morganfield discovered the blues on the plantations of Mississippi. He taught himself to play the harmonica, then took up the guitar, inspired by the likes of Son House and Robert Johnson. In the 1930s, he played harmonica alongside Big Joe Williams and performed regularly in the Mississippi Delta region. But he was ousted, Big Joe Williams accusing him of stealing all his female fans. In 1941, he did a session with Alan Lomax, as part of his business of archiving bluesmen's recordings for the Library of Congress. In 1943, Muddy Waters moved to Chicago, where he began playing in local clubs and quickly made a name for himself. His distinctive playing style, combining electric guitar with traditional Delta blues elements, marked a revolution in the genre. In 1948, he recorded "I Can't Be Satisfied" and "I Feel Like Going Home", which became immediate hits, released on Aristocrat Records, which later became Chess Records. The same year, he released "Rollin' Stone" , which became one of his signature songs. The 1950s and 1960s saw Muddy Waters become a central figure on the Chicago music scene. With his band, he recorded blues classics such as "Hoochie Coochie Man" (1954), "Mannish Boy" (1955) and "Got My Mojo Working " (1957). Together with "Rollin' Stone" (the name of which inspired the band The Rolling Stones), these three songs were included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the 500 songs that defined rock'n'roll. Over the course of his career, Muddy Waters received numerous awards, including six Grammy Awards between 1972 and 1980. He continued to record and perform until the end of his life, releasing landmark albums such as 1977's Hard Again , produced by Johnny Winter, which revitalized his career. Muddy Waters died on April 30, 1983 in Westmont, Illinois, of a heart attack due to complications from cancer. He was 70 years old.

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Stations Featuring Muddy Waters

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