By Bruce B Lamb
McKinley Morganfield, born on April 4 1913 and died on April 30 1983, more popularly known among his fans as Muddy Waters, was a reputed musician of the American blues genre. Muddy Waters was generally acknowledged as "the Father of Chicago blues".
Muddy Waters debuted on harmonica but by the age of 17 had started playing the guitar at a number of parties where he emulated two very reputed blues artists Robert Johnson and Son House. Qualities for which he got instantly noticed were his rich baritone, his ability to add dark coloration to his tone and his wonderful ability to add a lot of embellishments to the music he played.
The real success phase for Muddy Waters, the Original Hoochie Coochie Man, began with an association with the Chess brothers Phill and Leonard Chess who had formed a music company known as Aristocrat. In 1948, his "I Feel Like Going Home" and "I Can't Be Satisfied" were huge hits and that was the point when he began to climb the popularity charts in the clubs.
Soon after this, Aristocrat rebranded their name to Chess Records and instantly, Muddy Waters, the Original Hoochie Coochie Man's signature tune which happened to be "Rollin' Stone", became a huge hit among his fans.
By September 1953, Muddy Waters had started recording in association with one of the more acknowledged blues groups ever in history: This group comprised Elga Edmonds on drums, Otis Spann on piano, Little Walter Jacobs who played harmonica; and lastly, Jimmy Rogers who strummed the guitar. The highly acclaimed band had already recorded a number of blues classics during the early 1950s, with the active help of Willie Dixon who was a bassist/songwriter and the masterpieces included "I Just Want to Make Love to You"; "Hoochie Coochie Man", and "I'm Ready".
These songs were branded macho songs and they earned a lot of critical acclaim. These songs gave Muddy Waters a series of showstoppers and a tremendous thrust, which proved very important for a hitherto unknown bluesman who was trying to break free from the world of local gigs into the limelight of national prominence.
His beginning was not great but he had a lot of support, both institutional and from his peers who helped him with free guitar lessons and Blues Guitar lessons. It was to his credit that he utilized the opportunities to rise to prominence.
Muddy Waters, by the time he passed away, had carved out his own niche and his music and songs had inspired an entire generation and Blues Music had begun to earn its laurels.
Bruce Lamb has been playing guitar for 40 years and has been an award winning video producer for 25 years. He began producing instructional guitar videos and DVD's with world class Grammy Award winning artist in 2000. Bruce is also the owner of The Guitar Workshop, and the inventor of the Casextreme Guitar Flight Case for airline travel. The Guitar Workshop has Free learn to play guitar DVD lessons sent to the student's door for members who also sign up for online lessons. www.TheGuitarWorkshop.com
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