McKinley MorganField, más conocido como Muddy Waters, generalmente considerado el Padre del Blues de Chicago.
Nacido en Rolling Fork, Mississippi. Fue grabado por primera vez en una plantación del delta del río Mississippi por Alan Lomax para la biblioteca del congreso en 1940. Más tarde se mudó a Chicago, Illinois, donde cambió de guitarra acústica a guitarra eléctrica, volviéndose cada vez más popular entre los músicos negros de la época.
La forma de tocar de Waters es altamente característica dado su uso del slide. Su primera grabación para Chess Records mostraba a Waters en guitarra y vocales, apoyado por un contrabajo. Más tarde añadió percusión y la armónica de Little Walter para completar su clásica formación de blues.
Con su voz rica y profunda y su carismática personalidad, apoyado por un gran grupo de estrellas, Waters pronto se convirtió en la figura más reconocible del Blues de Chicago. Hasta B.B. King lo recordaría como el "Jefe de Chicago". Todas sus bandas fueron un quién-es-quién de los grandes del Blues de Chicago: Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell en la armónica, Willie Dixon en el bajo, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins en el piano, Buddy Guy en la guitarra entre otros.
Las grabaciones de Waters de finales de los 50 y principios de los 60 son particularmente buenas. Muchas de las canciones que tocó se convirtieron en clásicos: "Got My Mojo Working", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "She's Nineteen Years Old" y "Rolling and Tumbling" son todos grandes clásicos, muy frecuentemente objetos de versiones por bandas de diferentes géneros.
Su influencia ha sido enorme a través de muchísimos géneros musicales: Blues, Rythm & Blues, Rock, Folk, Jazz y Country. Waters ayudó a Chuck Berry a conseguir su primer contrato de grabación. Leer más aquí
McKinley Morganfield, known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician, generally considered the "father of modern Chicago blues". He was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s and is ranked No. 17 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Although in his later years Muddy usually said that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi in 1915, he was actually born at Jug's Corner in neighboring Issaquena County in 1913. Recent research has uncovered documentation showing that in the 1930s and 1940s he reported his birth year as 1913 on both his marriage license and musicians' union card. A 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest claim of 1915 as his year of birth, which he continued to use in interviews from that point onward. The 1920 census lists him as five years old as of March 6, 1920, suggesting that his birth year may have been 1914. The Social Security Death Index, relying on the Social Security card application submitted after his move to Chicago in the mid 1940s, lists him as being born April 4, 1913. Muddy's gravestone gives his birth year as 1915.
Muddy's grandmother Della Grant raised him after his mother died shortly after 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. Muddy later changed it to "Muddy Water" and finally "Muddy Waters".
The shack where Muddy Waters lived in his youth on Stovall Plantation is now located at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He started out on harmonica, but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties, emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.
On November 20, 1932, Muddy married Mabel Berry; Robert Nighthawk played guitar at the wedding, and the party reportedly got so wild the floor fell in. Mabel left Muddy three years later when Muddy's first child was born; the child's mother was Leola Spain, sixteen years old (Leola later used her maiden name Brown), "married to a man named Steven" and "going with a guy named Tucker". Leola was the only one of his girlfriends with whom Muddy would stay in touch throughout his life; they never married. By the time he finally cut out for Chicago in 1943, there was another Mrs. Morganfield left behind, a girl called Sallie Ann. Read more here