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Muddy Waters

Biography

Muddy Waters was one of the few key players of the postwar Chicago Blues scene who actually influenced the music that influenced him. His swollen, grandiloquent vocals were an instrument unto themselves and his beefy electric slide playing breathed new life into music heavily influenced by the Delta Blues. Waters, who grew up on the Mississippi Delta in Clarksdale listening to the music of Son House, moved to Chicago in 1943. In 1948, he recorded "I Can't Be Satisfied" and "I Feel like Going Home." The former became his first national R&B chart topper, and influenced the Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," and his 1950 song "Rollin' Stone" inspired the band's name. Waters assembled one of the meanest bands in blues history, the Headhunters, comprised of Little Walter, Baby Face Leroy Foste, and Jimmy Rogers. In 1951, Waters cranked out four hits, "Louisiana Blues," "Long Distance Call," "Honey Bee," and "Still a Fool" which rapidly climbed the charts and prompted Leonard Chess (founder of Chess Records) to play on the 1952 hit, "She Moves Me." Waters' renditions of "You Shook Me" and "I Just Wanna Make Love To You" turned on a sea of blues-obsessed British musicians who made him their new God. The Stones couldn't believe their eyes when they went to visit the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis only to find their God painting the ceiling. They put together an intimate gig and jammed with Waters on "I Just Wanna Make Love to You." By his death in 1983, Waters was already a legend in music. He had influenced the sound of Chicago Blues, as well as anyone who ever picked up on the music to which he lent his King Midas touch.
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