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Rolling Fork in Sharkey County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Muddy Waters

 
 
Muddy Waters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cleo Robertson, January 4, 2015
1. Muddy Waters Marker
Inscription.
~Front~
McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters, was one of the foremost artists in blues history. In the late 1940s and 1950s he led the way in transforming traditional Delta blues into the electric Chicago blues style that paved the road to rock 'n' roll. Waters was born in the Jug's Corner community of rural Issaquena County but always claimed Rolling Fork as his birthplace. His birth date has been cited as April 4, 1913, 1914, or 1915.
~Back~
McKinley Morganfield's grandmother, Della Grant, nicknamed him “Muddy” because, as a baby on the Cottonwood Plantation near Mayersville, he loved to play in the mud. Childhood playmates tagged on “Water” or “Waters” a few years later. His father, Ollie Morganfield, was a sharecropper in the Rolling Fork area who also entertained at local blues affairs. But Waters was raised by his grandmother, who moved to the Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale when he was still a young child, and his influences were Delta musicians such as Son House, Robert Johnson, and Robert Nighthawk. Muddy first played harmonica with Stovall guitarist Scott Bohanner, but took up guitar under the older musician's tutelage, and later performed with another mentor, blues legend Big Joe Williams. He also played in a string
Muddy Waters Marker (Back) image. Click for full size.
By Cleo Robertson, January 4, 2015
2. Muddy Waters Marker (Back)
band, the Son Sims Four, and drove a tractor on the Stovall Plantation, where he ran a juke joint out of his house.

Waters did his first recordings at Stovall in 1941-42 for a Library of Congress team led by Alan Lomax and John Work III. In 1943 he moved to Chicago, and by the end of the decade he was setting the pace on the competitive Chicago blues scene. The city was loaded with freshly arriving talent from Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana as southern farm workers continued to migrate to the alleged “promised land” of the north. Many of the finest musicians, including harmonica player Little Walter Jacobs, pianist Otis Spann, and guitarist Jimmy Rogers, worked in the seminal Muddy Waters Blues Band, which virtually defined the Chicago blues genre. Both through his recordings on the Aristocrat and Chess labels and through his sensual and electrifying live performances, he not only became a blues icon but a godfather to generations of rock 'n' roll bands, as he expanded his audience from the African American clubs of Chicago's South and West sides to Europe and beyond. The Rolling Stones recorded several of his songs and took their name from one of his early records, “Rollin' Stone.” Jazz, R&B, country & western, and hip hop artists have used his material as well.

Other Muddy Waters classics, many written by Vicksburg native Willie
Muddy Waters Marker (Back) image. Click for full size.
By Cleo Robertson, January 4, 2015
3. Muddy Waters Marker (Back)
Dixon, include “Got My Mojo Working,” “Manish Boy,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” and “I'm Ready.” Waters returned to visit or perform in Mississippi on occasion, and appeared at the Greenville V.F.W., the Ole Miss campus, and the 1981 Delta Blues Festival. A recipient of multiple Grammy awards, charter member of the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame, and 1987 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Muddy Waters died in his sleep on April 30, 1983, at his home in Westmont, Illinois.
 
Erected 2007 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
 
Location. 32° 54.478′ N, 90° 52.591′ W. Marker is in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in Sharkey County. Marker is on Delta Street south of Walnut Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is on the plaza east of city hall. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Locust St., Rolling Fork MS 39159, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Teddy Roosevelt's Bear Hunt (approx. 13.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
Muddy Waters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cleo Robertson, January 4, 2015
4. Muddy Waters Marker
Photo view facing south toward the old historic structure known as a Shotgun Shack (referred to by the local Chamber of Commerce as the Muddy Waters Blues Cabin).

1. bio: Muddy Waters Biography. Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter (1915–1983) (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

2. AllMusic: Muddy Waters. Biography by Mark Deming (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

3. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Muddy Waters Biography. (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
4. Wikipedia: Muddy Waters. (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
5. YouTube: Muddy Waters plays "Manish Boy". Video clip from a 1971 performance. (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

6. YouTube: Muddy Waters - Champagne & Reefer. (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
7. YouTube: Best Of Muddy Waters - Vintage Delta Blues. 1 hour 38 minutes of Muddy Waters audio (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

8. iTunes Preview: Muddy Waters. Muddy Waters was the single most important artist to emerge in post-war American blues. (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

9. Grinders in History: Muddy Waters. Article by VSC on December 1, 2014 (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

10. Mississippi Blues Trail:Muddy Waters Birthplace
McKinley Morganfield (aka Muddy Waters) image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress Photo
5. McKinley Morganfield (aka Muddy Waters)
. (Submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Muddy Waters Stamp image. Click for full size.
By U.S. Postal Service, circa September 17, 1994
6. Muddy Waters Stamp
In 1994, the U.S. Postal Service honored the late singer by including his image on a postage stamp.
Muddy Waters Vignette Stamps image. Click for full size.
7. Muddy Waters Vignette Stamps
Strip of 10 ‘Blues Guitar’ vignette stamps featuring blues great, Muddy Waters, offered for sale on eBay.
Autographed Muddy Waters LP image. Click for full size.
8. Autographed Muddy Waters LP
Autographed by Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, and Charles Calmese.
Muddy Waters Album image. Click for full size.
9. Muddy Waters Album
The Definitive Collection LP cover, including his greatest recordings 1948-1976. 24 tracks: "I Can't Be Satisfied," "Rollin' Stone," "Got My Mojo Working," "You Shook Me," more.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This page has been viewed 427 times since then and 100 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week April 3, 2016. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on January 4, 2015, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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