April 4th 1913 a Music Legend Was Born
McKinley Morganfield was born April 4th 1913 in a shack in Mississippi; he became a musician, changed his name to Muddy Waters and became the father of modern Chicago blues. Growing up in Mississippi in the 1920”s Muddy Waters was influenced by bluesmen Son House and Robert Johnson. Muddy started out on harmonica, but by the age of 17 he was playing guitar fulltime and burned his unique delta blues sound into the pages of music history.
In the 1940’s Muddy started recording with Chess records and had a string of hits with “Rollin Stone” (yes the Stones took their name from this track), “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “I’m Ready”. By 1955 Muddy had rock hits with “Manish boy” and “Sugar Sweet”. His popularity reached across the pond to England and in 1958 made his first trip to the old country. Muddy Waters would later tell Rolling Stone Magazine how shocked he was to see how turned on these white British kids were to the delta blues.
They were so turned on that the 1960’s saw an explosion of blues-rock like non-other. Guys like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Steve Winwood, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were so influenced they would change the face of music. He even helped the great Chuck Berry get his first record contract with Chess Records. AC/DC’s Angus Young cited Muddy Waters as an influence and the song title “You Shook Me All Night Long” came from the lyrics of Muddy’s song “You Shook Me”, which was also covered by Led Zeppelin. Muddy Waters songs have appeared in The Color of Money, Goodfellas, Casino, Risky Business and the rockumentray The Last Waltz. The Beatles reference Muddy Waters in “Come Together” and even the American stoner metal band Bongzilla has covered him.
We lost the man in 1983 but Like Mozart, Miles Davis and Scott Joplin Muddy Waters is a true music legend, a creator of a sound that has passed the test of time.