Saturday, April 04, 2009

It's the Birthday of Muddy Waters

Happy birthday to the Godfather of the blues Mr. Muddy Waters, he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi in 1915. According to Muddy his grandmother gave him the nickname of Muddy Waters because he liked to play in the muddy creek near his house. He learned to play the blues by listening to other Mississippi Delta blues musicians such as Son House and Robert Johnson. He worked on the farm and drove a tractor during the week, but he started to perform at juke joints, fish fries and parties on the weekends.

He was one of the blues musicians that was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. When Muddy heard himself on Lomax's recordings he thought that he might have a chance making it as a professional musician. He is reported as having said, "Man, you don't know how I felt that afternoon when I heard that voice and it was my own voice." In May of 1943 he moved from Clarksdale, Mississippi, to Chicago, Illinois. As the legend goes Muddy only took a suit of clothes and an acoustic guitar. He got a job at a paper factory, moved in with some cousins and begin playing his music at parties and get togethers in Chicago.

In 1943 the music was ruled by big band music. Muddy tried playing at clubs and other venues but because he was playing an acoustic guitar it was hard to hear him. That is when he realized that he needed to switch over to an electric guitar. In 1944, his uncle sold him a cheap electric guitar, and the creation of the Muddy Waters sound began.

No one had played Mississippi Delta style blues on an electric guitar before. This totally and forever changed the sound of the blues. In 1948 Muddy made his first hit, "I Can't Be Satisfied," with the Chess Brothers of Chess Records. And the rest is history!

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters @SqueezeMyLemon

Muddy Waters @Wikipedia

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