Muddy Waters: The Father Of Chicago Blues Who Named The Rolling Stones

By | April 3, 2020

test article image
UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 24, 1968: JAZZ AT THE MALTINGS Photo of Muddy WATERS, performing live on TV show (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

With classics like "Mannish Boy, "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Rollin' Stone," and "Got My Mojo Working," Muddy Waters originated the Chicago blues sound, and influenced a generation of young artists who'd become rock and roll royalty. By electrifying the American blues, which was previously an acoustic sound, Waters laid the foundation for rock itself, inspiring the Rolling Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin, and many more blues-rockers. Though revered by these young, often British, mostly white musicians, Waters never showed interest in crossing over to their more mainstream (and more lucrative) genre. Though "the blues" is generally a melancholy genre, Waters' playing style and lyrics brought a more joyous and boastful aspect to it.

Muddy Waters Was From Mississippi

test article image
Playing his acoustic guitar. Source: (pinterest)

The details of Muddy Waters’ birth are a bit unclear and contradictory. He told reporters that he was born on April 4, 1915 in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, but some historians have found documents that claim he was born in 1913 or 1914 and some claim he was born in Jug’s Corner. Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield. His father, Ollie Morganfield, was also a guitarist and musician. His parents separated when he was just 6 months old and his mother died when he was three; his grandmother, Della Grant, then took him to Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale. While his exact birthplace may be uncertain, he did grow up in the hotbed of the blues, which would have an indelible impression on him. Waters had a propensity for music from a young age, and claimed that, from the age of three, he tried to get music out of anything he could find. He picked up the harmonica, which he would play around town at picnics. His name also came from his childhood. When he was young, his grandmother nicknamed him Muddy because of his early fondness for crawling around in the mud and his classmates tacked on the name Waters. He later adopted this name as a stage name.