Blues Musician. Born McKinley Morganfield, Muddy Waters received his more famous sobriquet as a child. His grandmother, who raised Waters following the death of his mother in 1918, called him "Muddy" after his habit of playing in a shallow creek nearby their home. He took up harmonica and guitar in his teens, absorbing the influences of local legends Son House and Robert Johnson. In 1941 and 1942, Waters recorded several acoustic country blues pieces for a team of Library of Congress folksong collectors at Stovall's Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi; these recordings, including an early version of "I Can't Be Satisfied", have since come to be regarded as classics. Encouraged by the relative success of these records, Waters emigrated to Chicago in 1943. He was initially unsuccessful, however, and, aside from a few abortive recording sessions with Columbia Records, Waters ended up working as a truck driver. In 1948, Waters made his first recordings with the new Chess/Aristocrat label, predominantly using the electric instruments that would be characteristic of his work. This began a prodigious partnership that would produce perhaps the most widely-recognized body of work in the Chicago Blues genre. Recording with other master musicians like harmonica player Little Walter Jacobs, guitarist/singer Jimmy Reed, pianist Otis Spann, and bassist/songwriter Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters recorded such classics as "I Feel Like Going Home" (1948), "Still a Fool" (1951), "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "Hoochie Coochie Man", and "I'm Ready" (all 1954), and "Mannish Boy" (1955). Established as perhaps the preeminent blues icon, Waters would influence a new generation of blues and rock artists in the United States and Britain, including Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Michael Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Otis Rush (all of whom recorded with Waters) and practically every other mainstream blues artist of the last forty years. His later albums include 1968's eclectic "Electric Mud" and his staggering 1977 comeback "Hard Again."
Bio by: Stuthehistoryguy