This week blues legend Muddy Waters would celebrate his 104th birthday. Muddy is still a major influence in music history, artist like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and even today rappers like Kanye West are all influenced by his sound. For his birthday we look back at his first recording session.
Stovall Plantation recording session 1941
It was historian Alan Lomax who made a trip to the Stovall Plantation back in August 1941 to record McKinley Morganfield with Henry ‘Son’ Sims. They recorded ‘Country Blues’, ‘I Be Troubled’ and ‘Burr Clover Blues’.
“Morganfield would later become the ‘King of Chicago Blues’ as Muddy Waters. He had learned the guitar and harmonica and began playing in juke joints and at parties and dances in and around the Clarksdale, Mississippi area from about 1935 onwards”.(udiscovermusic)
In later interviews Howard Stovall whose family owned the plantation on which Muddy lived and worked told, “Muddy was the burr clover man and was also, one of the first guys to drive a tractor at our plantation, wasn’t the most contented tractor driver in the world and he couldn’t wait to get out of farming and into a life as an entertainer.” (udiscovermusic) Muddy Waters left the Stovall plantation in 1943 and moved to Chicago. There he would make fame as one of the biggest bluesman around.
Photo By Jean-Luc Ourlin (originally posted to Flickr as Muddy Waters) [CC BY-SA 2.0] (via Wikimedia Commons)