MUDDY WATERS/LITTLE MILTON
'Thats All Right' -1950 - 2:47
'Hoochie Coochie Man' -1954 - 4:51
'Just Make Love To Me' -1954 - 2:54
Maybe something in the water, another son of Mississippi, McKinley Morganfield, was born in 1913. His 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. He started out on harmonica, but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties, emulating two blues artists in particular, Son House and Robert Johnson. In August of 1941, Alan Lomax went to Stovall, Mississippi on behalf of the Library of Congress to record various country blues musicians. "He brought his stuff down and recorded me right in my house," Waters recalled in Rolling Stone, "and when he played back the first song I sounded just like anybody's records. Man, you don't know how I felt that Saturday afternoon when I heard that voice and it was my own voice." Initially, the Chess brothers would not allow Waters to use his working band in the recording studio; instead he was provided with a backing bass by Ernest "Big" Crawford, or by musicians assembled specifically for the recording session, including "Baby Face" Leroy Foster and Johnny Jones. Gradually Chess relented, and by September 1953 he was recording with one of the most acclaimed blues groups in history: Little Walter Jacobs on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Elga Edmonds (a.k.a. Elgin Evans) on drums and Otis Spann on piano. Waters headed to England in 1958 and shocked audiences (whose only previous exposure to blues had come via the acoustic folk/blues sounds of acts such as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy) with his loud, amplified electric guitar and thunderous beat. He was very much a ladies man, there were four wives and inumerable children who he reunited with over his life. However, for the better part of twenty years (since his last big hit in 1956, "I'm Ready") Waters was put on the back shelf by the Chess label and recorded albums with various "popular" themes: Brass And The Blues, Electric Mud, etc. In 1967, he joined forces with Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf to record the Super Blues and The Super Super Blues Band pair of albums of Chess blues standards. In 1972 he went back to England to record The London Muddy Waters Sessions with Rory Gallagher, Steve Winwood, Rick Grech and Mitch Mitchell — but their playing was not up to his standards. "These boys are top musicians, they can play with me, put the book before 'em and play it, you know," he told Guralnick. "But that ain't what I need to sell my people, it ain't the Muddy Waters sound. An' if you change my sound, then you gonna change the whole man." He died of heart failure in 1983.