About a Mick Jagger quote on Muddy Waters…
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Mick Jagger, on blues and chairs (2013):
“Muddy Waters only sat on a chair onstage at the end of his career because he got into a car crash. If you watched Muddy at Newport, he was all over the stage…One remembers him, as Keith says, as the guy in the chair, but he really wasn’t that a lot of his career. But you know, rock and roll is different than the blues. It’s not the same thing at all. Blues played in a chair is fine, but rock and roll is not really meant to be played in a chair.”
Imagine yourself walking down a dusty street in the Mississippi Delta in 1933. A young man is sitting on the sidewalk playing an old guitar and singing a sad song. You listen for a moment, and for some reason you feel a little better about your own troubles. You’ve just felt the power of the blues. The young man’s name is Muddy, and one day he will be one of the most influential musicians in the world.
Muddy Waters’ early life in the Mississippi Delta remains somewhat of a mystery. Even the date of his birth is hard to pin down, but somewhere between 1913 and 1915 he was born in Issaquena County, Mississippi. His mother named him McKinley Morganfield, but everyone called him Muddy because it’s said he enjoyed playing in the local creek. Muddy later took the stage name Muddy Waters.
As a child, Muddy listened to music when he went to church. He also heard the music played at parties and in the streets. That music was called the blues. Blues musicians, or bluesmen, played acoustic instruments, such as the guitar, and they sang down to earth, sensual songs about the struggles of being poor and black in the rural South. Some called it the devil’s music, but Muddy loved the blues.
Muddy learned to play the harmonica, and he tried to sing like blues legend Son House. Inspired by the records of great bluesman Robert Johnson, Muddy took up the guitar. In 1941, at the Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi, Muddy performed for researchers from the Library of Congress, where his music was first recorded. Many of the songs he sang would later become Muddy Waters’ classics, including ‘I Feel Like Going Home’ and ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied.’ These are the oldest known recordings of Muddy’s music.
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