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Stovall in Coahoma County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Muddy Waters's House

 
 
Muddy Waters's House Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Winter, August 16, 2015
1. Muddy Waters's House Marker
Inscription.  
Front
Muddy Waters lived most of his first thirty years in a house on this site, part of the Stovall Plantation. In 1996 the restored house was put on display at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale. Muddy Waters was first recorded here in 1941 by Alan Lomax, who was compiling songs for the Library of Congress. Muddy Waters is known as the king of Chicago blues.

Rear
Muddy Waters African American music on the Stovall plantation was documented as early as 1901, when a Harvard archaeologist heard local workers singing what he later described as “autochthonous music" and "strains of apparently genuine African music." Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield, 1913-1983) moved to Stovall with his grandmother from Rolling Fork, Mississippi, c. 1915. The Stovall plantation remained his primary base until he moved to Chicago in 1943.

In August 1941, on a field recording expedition sponsored by the Library of Congress and Fisk University, Alan Lomax and John Work set up portable equipment in Waters' house to record Muddy and other local musicians, including fiddler Henry "Son" Simms. Lomax returned with

Muddy Waters's House Marker (rear) image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Winter, August 16, 2015
2. Muddy Waters's House Marker (rear)
Lewis Jones in 1942 for a second series of recordings. Two of Waters' recordings, "Burr Clover Farm Blues" and "Burr Clover Blues," paid tribute to plantation owner Colonel William Howard Stovall (1895-1970) and his crop. The Stovalls, one of the Delta's most successful cotton-farming families, were pioneers of agricultural technology, and Colonel Stovall invented the burr clover seed harvester in 1935. Waters told Lomax that he wrote "Burr Clover Blues" at Stovall's request. Waters entertained field hands at his house, which served as a juke joint, and also played at social functions for the Stovalls, as did the Mississippi Sheiks, a popular black string band that Waters admired.

Waters' cousin, The Reverend Wilie Morganfield (1927-2003), was born on the Stovall plantation and turned down offers to sing the blues and devoted his talents to the church, becoming a popular gospel recording artist in the 1960s. He was pastor of the Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksdale. Blues singer-pianist Eddie Boyd (1914-1994), who wrote the classic "Five Long Years," a No. 1 rhythm & blues hit in 1952, was also born on Stovall. Stovall resident and blues bassist David "Pecan" Porter (1943-2003) later lived in the house that Muddy Waters had earlier occupied. Porter was active on the Clarksdale blues scene from the 1960s through the 1990s.

Only in the 1980s, after the vacant

Closeup of photos on rear. image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Winter, August 16, 2015
3. Closeup of photos on rear.
house was in disrepair, did tourists begin visiting it as a Muddy Waters shrine. In 1987, guitarist Billy Gibbons of the rock group Z.Z. Top had "Muddywood" guitars crafted from the planks of the house. Z.Z. Top subsequently used the guitars to promote a fund-raising drive to benefit the Delta Blues Museum.
 
Erected 2007 by Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, Music. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail 🎶 series list.
 
Location. 34° 15.785′ N, 90° 37.947′ W. Marker is in Stovall, Mississippi, in Coahoma County. Marker is at the intersection of Oakhurst Stovall Road and Farrell-Eagles Nest West, on the right when traveling south on Oakhurst Stovall Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Oakhurst Stovall Road, Clarksdale MS 38614, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. J.W. Cutrer House (approx. 5.1 miles away); Tennessee Williams (approx. 5.1 miles away); Temple Beth Israel (approx. 5.2 miles away); Clarksdale (approx. 5.2 miles away); Carnegie Public Library (approx.
Former location of Muddy Waters's Home. image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Winter, August 16, 2015
4. Former location of Muddy Waters's Home.
House has been moved to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale.
5.2 miles away); Harvey B. Heidelberg (approx. 5.3 miles away); WROX Radio (approx. 5.4 miles away); Ike Turner (approx. 5.4 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on Muddy Waters. (Submitted on November 19, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 19, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 19, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of Muddy Waters's House in Clarksdale. • Can you help?
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Mar. 3, 2021