Muddy Waters

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 1987

Inducted by: Paul Butterfield

Nominated in: 1986   1987

First Eligible: 1986 Ceremony

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1989 (ranked #1 in the Influences - Rock Era category) .

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
At Newport 1960 (1960)
Folk Singer (1964)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Rollin' Stone (1950)
Rollin' and Tumblin' (1950)
Hoochie Coochie Man (1954)
I Just Want to Make Love to You (1954)
Mannish Boy (1955)
Trouble No More (1955)
Forty Days And Forty Nights (1956)
Got My Mojo Working (1957)

Muddy Waters @ Wikipedia

Muddy Waters Videos


12 comments so far (post your own)

Muddy Waters should have been inducted as an early influence. He was a blues musician not a rock n roll musician. I think the hall is clueless on the early influence category.

Posted by Dude Man on Thursday, 07.2.09 @ 12:15pm

Inducted in 1987... One year after the RRHOF opened.

Posted by Joe-Skee on Thursday, 07.2.09 @ 14:28pm

Muddy Waters should have been inducted as an early influence. He was a blues musician not a rock n roll musician. I think the hall is clueless on the early influence category.

Posted by Dude Man on Thursday, 07.2.09 @ 12:15pm

Yes, might I add that another blues musician that should get inducted into the Early Influence category is Pine Top Smith

Posted by Keebord on Wednesday, 07.8.09 @ 19:10pm

Gosh I am #4 and 100's for SRV and Maddona .. Now that is to funny
Well here is that real sound of blue is ya need it Waters played through a range of amplifiers early on, but from the mid ’60s he most often blasted his mojo to the masses through a Fender Super Reverb combo. This 40-watt tube amp uses two 6L6GC output tubes in fixed bias, and carries a large output transformer to present a bold, punchy tone to its four 10” speakers. Crank one up, with all knobs on “9” as Muddy liked to play his, and inject a hot, spanking Telecaster, and you’ve got a gnarly, eviscerating blues tone that will cut through any mix.

don't forget the Bottle neck no black hat needed

Posted by mrxyz on Saturday, 09.12.09 @ 21:24pm

I disagree with Muddy being an early influence. He lived long enough to play on stage with Clapton and the Stones and the Band and Johnny Winter and so on. He was the last generation of blues men to perform before Rock n Roll came about so he was sort of a hybrid in many ways.

Posted by odin029 on Thursday, 04.12.12 @ 10:21am

Gonna do the typical "GFW doesn't like something widely loved" and state that while the guy was obviously deserving, I find hsi work to not just be bad, but very very BORING based off Folk Singer and At Newport 1960

Posted by GFW on Sunday, 09.30.12 @ 10:13am

A post-WWII Chicago blues scene without the contributions of Muddy Waters would be unthinkable. From the late 40s until his death in 1983, Muddy defined the sound of Chicago electric blues with his vocals and his slide guitar attacks. When he died, the Windy City would never fully recover.

Like many of his fellow musicians in the Chicago blues circuit, Muddy Waters came from the Mississippi Delta. Growing up, Muddy's hero was the powerful Son House, another Delta bluesmen whose side guitar playing heavily influenced Waters. When Alen Lomax ran across him in 1941, he must've known that he had found a very special blues singer. When Waters left for Chicago in 1943, he was already renowned for his blues playing power across the Delta. By the mid 40s, his playing skills were becoming a recognized part of Chicago's South Side where he shared a couple stages with a few star pianists and a guitarist. Muddy first hit the charts in 1948 with "I Feel Like Going Home" and by 1951, Muddy Waters hit the R&B charts with several songs like "Still A Fool" and "Long Distance Call". Even Willie Dixon played an important part in Muddy Waters' career. Sadly in the late 60s, Waters' career hit a lull although he did work together with a young blues player named Paul Butterfield in a celebration of Chicago blues.

By the time he pasted away, Muddy Waters' place in music history was firmly established and the Chicago blues scene that he turned upside down never returned, but the sounds and influences that he pasted on to groups from The Rolling Stones and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band to Jeff Beck still radiate through the world of music to this day.

Thanks, Muddy Waters.

Posted by Andrew on Monday, 10.29.12 @ 23:42pm

Don't wholly dismiss his late 60's career, from what I've read Electric Mud had a surprising influence on rap.

Posted by GFW on Tuesday, 10.30.12 @ 07:47am

My all-time favortite Muddy Waters song is easily Gypsy Woman. That opening piano solo from Sunnyland Slimm is just killer and totally fits the story of the song. Muddy's haunting, forceful vocals and down-home phrasing contribute greatly to this song's excellence. The call-and-response sequence between the electric guitar and the piano that takes place between 1:21 and 1:56 is just out of this world, proving the musical prowess of both Slim and Waters. Together, they create a hard-driving, bluesy sound that puts the listener in the mood and makes him/her feel as though they are right in the Delta.

Count me as a hater of Electric Mud. Chess Records really started running off the rails when they matched Muddy and Howlin' Wolf with younger, more psychdelic-influenced musicians. The overbearing drumming, Hendrix-esque guitar gimmickery, and discordant-sounding arrangements do not serve classics like Mannish Boy, I Just Want to Make Love to You, and I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man well. Waters himself gave the best review of this misguided concept album when he referred to it as "dogshit" in his autobiography The Mojo Man. Chess Records' similar experiment with Howlin' Wolf was likewise a failure, as the psychedelic sludge drowns out Wolf's powerful vocals far too much. Wolf said it best when he told Pete Cosey "Why don't you take them wah-wahs and all that other shit and go throw it off in the lake — on your way to the barber shop?" (This exchange is recounted in James Segrest's and Mark Hoffman's excellent Howlin' Wolf biography Moanin' at Midnight). If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf were two originals that will always remain among the vanguard of great bluesmen and women. I'd say that my favorite bluespeople are Waters, Wolf, Louis Jordan, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Big Joe Turner, Big Mama Thornton, and T-Bone Walker. All legends. Clapton, Page, and their ilk can all go take a long walk off a short pier. Pseudo-blues will never compare to the Delta, Texas, harmonica, jump, piano, urban and other true styles of the greatest form of music ever created. However, Stevie Ray Vaughan came the closest of the rockers to being a true bluesman.

Posted by Zach on Thursday, 08.8.13 @ 18:51pm

I agree he is the bluesyest I love his music

Posted by Happy on Thursday, 08.8.13 @ 19:52pm

A post-WWII Chicago blues scene without the contributions of Muddy Waters would be unthinkable. He was the one of the most important blues singers to emerge in the post-WWII blues genre, transforming the acoustic blues sound into an electric urban sound at a critical time in the blues scene.

His musical legacy, especially the songs he made in the 50s are some of the finest treasures of music in this century. Besides Robert Johnson, no other blues singer or guitar player is more important in the history or development of the blues then Muddy himself.

A singer without equal, a gifted songwriter and an able guitarist, Waters also linked the Mississippi Delta country blues with the urban Chicago blues. He brought his first electric guitar in 1944 and completely revolutionized the blues with the songs he started recording in 1948.

His amplified group featured him on vocals and slide guitar, another guitarist, bass, drums, piano and harmonica. The Muddy Waters Blues Band had all the earmarks in terms of size, volume, and power the great rock bands would later inherent and perfect.

Muddy's audience continued to grow after his electrifying performance of "Mannish Boy" with The Band and Paul Butterfield on harmonica on The Last Waltz which was an unforgettable highlight of the show.

Aside from his musical legacy, Waters also nurtured a huge respect for the blues as it's most commanding figurehead. The Band's Levon Helm said that Muddy Waters "taught us to put things into context, to be respectful, and to be serious about our music as he was. He showed us that music was a sacred thing."

Muddy Waters remained active until his death from a heart attack in 1983.

The real question with Muddy Waters' influence isn't who was influenced by him, but who wasn't influenced by him? Guitarists and groups from Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin have drawn from Waters' guitar prowess and his vocal range. Just take a listen to Robert Plant's singing or Clapton's guitar riffs and you can hear Muddy Waters.

Personally, I like Muddy’s music because of his gruff vocals, his powerful guitar playing, his backing band and some of his songs are some of the purist sounding blues I’ve heard.

Posted by Andrew on Sunday, 02.2.14 @ 20:58pm

RIP Phil Chess

Posted by dmg on Wednesday, 10.19.16 @ 12:51pm

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