Muddy’s entry into the Blues Rock world was a huge cultural leap – Photos

Muddy Waters Confidential: Things You May Not Know about The Hoochie Coochie Man.

“I understood from the start that I was lucky to be part of a revival near the end of Muddy’s career. Whenever I make music or write about it, there’s always something in there that goes back to Muddy.” – Bob Margolin

Muddy Waters was the most important link between his urban black audience in the nightclubs of Chicago and the young white fans who came to know him as a result of the folk music craze beginning in the early to mid ’60s. Blues fans have heard his story time and time again.

Here’s some things you may not have heard. His grandmother nicknamed him Muddy and the kids at school added Waters. In 1958 he first played England making a huge impression on musicians like John Mayall, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Van Morrison, and Eric Clapton. Muddy’s album Real Folk Blues was a misnomer. It featured a young Buddy Guy on guitar and was about as folky as the Rolling Stones who took their name from one of his songs.

Marshall Chess, the son of Leonard Chess of Chess Records fame, produced several of Muddy’s albums specifically recorded to appeal to a new market of young white rock fans. “Music changes the way you feel,” says Marshall. “That’s magical. Chess Records for some reason was a magnet for amazing artistry. All these magicians came to Chess. We were able to capture it, and it’s something that can be experienced through audio. The music has stood up without a cinematic aspect like video.”

Muddy’s entry into the Blues Rock world was a huge cultural leap. “Everybody can play the blues,” says Muddy’s daughter Mercy Morganfield today. “Anybody can play, enjoy, listen to the blues. They can sing it out of tune. I don’t care. The problem is ownership. You own the genre when you have all the connections with all of the festivals. Blues is live music. When you have connections with all festivals and the venues and you allow some black people to be in it and disallow other people, then that’s ownership. It’s not appropriation; it’s ownership.”

Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin was Muddy’s last guitarist playing with Muddy until his death in 1983: “Muddy was one of those very few who had true ‘charisma.’ He affected people in a spiritual way, both with his music and personally. I’ve had a lot of thrills while I was in Mud’s band, but the biggest was playing his blues with him onstage.”

Marshall Chess grew up with Muddy who went to his bar mitzvah when Marshall turned 13. “One of the main jobs as a producer was like a meditation manager master. He had to get the band locked together to go down. I remember when they were teaching me to produce, they always would say, ‘When the motherfucker fucks up, you got to embarrass him and tell him to play that shit right. Over and over.’”

Muddy Waters was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980. He died in 1983 and entered The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 1987. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1994, the same year the U.S. Postal Service put his face on a 29-cent stamp. Various Muddy anthologies have been honored by the Blues Foundation, including the 1994 set of reissued Plantation Recordings and 2006’s Hoochie Coochie Man: Complete Chess Recordings, Volume 2, 1952–1958.

Bob Margolin: “I understood from the start that I was lucky to be part of a revival near the end of Muddy’s career. Whenever I make music or write about it, there’s always something in there that goes back to Muddy. At Antone’s nightclub anniversary week in 1990, I played a solo set of Muddy’s songs in tribute to him, and to the club where Muddy played so many spectacular gigs. When I came into the dressing room, Buddy Guy told me, ‘Those are big shoes to fill.’ Shit, I’m just trying to keep ’em shined.”

Muddy Waters - The Father of Chicago Blues | uDiscover Music

Related Post