by Robert Wilkinson
Today Mister McKinley Morganfield, aka “Muddy Waters,” would have been 101 (or 99, depending on which birth record you use.) He was “the Father of Chicago Blues,” and had a huge effect on thousands of musicians past and present. We have some outstanding videos of live performances!
Muddy Waters (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983) gave the world such classics as “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Mannish Boy,” “I Just Want to Make Love To You,” “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” “Got My Mojo Workin’,” and too many more to list here. He is considered the inspiration for quite a few “British Invasion” bands, since many of the greatest did his tunes, from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin.
Rather than go into a lengthy bio, I’ll just cut to the chase with some great videos of the Master at work. For your enjoyment, the amazing Muddy Waters!
From 1960 at the Newport Jazz Festival, I found his set, and you get them in in order! Muddy kicks off his set with the song that inspired the name the Rolling Stones called themselves!
The classic "Rollin’ Stone”
That's ramped up by a great live performance of “I’ll Put A Tiger in your Tank”
From the 50s, a live recording of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" For one of my favorite versions of this song, here's Canned Heat's studio version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" featuring the amazing slide guitar of consummate bluesman Alan Wilson.
From 1963, here’s 8 minutes of pure gold with Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon and others doing "Bye Bye Blues”
From 1974 with the awesome Mike Bloomfield, here’s "Long Distance”
From October 1976, the entire 1 hour video of “Muddy Waters Live in Dortmund Germany
From his 1976 European tour, here's 43 minutes of the Master! Muddy Waters Live in Poland
Here’s Muddy and Eric Clapton in 1978 in a live performance of "Standing Around Crying”
We now move to a great 35 minute 1980 live show! Muddy Waters and BB King in Montreal
From 1981, the entire 55 minute video of “Muddy Waters Live At the 1981 Chicago Fest”
I found some awesome footage of Muddy Waters backed by the Rolling Stones in 1981 at the Checkerboard Lounge! First, his legendary tune, "Mannish Boy”
From the same gig, here’s Muddy offering his opinion about enjoying life and kicking back, with Mick chiming in! “Champagne and Reefer”
We’ll close this short set with a 10+ minute clip of Muddy backed by the Stones doing “Baby Please Don’t Go”
We now move into another more recent live performance of his epic "Hoochie Coochie Man”
Here’s another offering from Muddy of "Got My Mojo Workin’
We now enter the Waaaaay back machine to find an hour of pure gold! Audio-only, but classic and the prototype for what followed! Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Muddy Waters - the Complete Plantation Recordings 1941-42
Here’s the epic 1969 album “Fathers and Sons” in its entirety! Featuring Muddy, Otis Spann, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Duck Dunn, Sam Lay and Buddy Miles! Muddy Waters – Fathers and Sons
Last year I found then entire 53 minutes of the “Muddy Waters Rare Performances 1968-1978” but this year the whole set is no longer on one clip. But I did find the whole show on several clips, and here they are!
To close today’s set, we have a full hour video of Muddy, Johnny Winter, Mike Bloomfield, and a lot of incredible stars on Soundstage’s 1974 “Blues Summit in Chicago” This one features Harry Chapin, Mike Bloomfield, Willie Dixon, Nick Gravenites, Buddy Miles, Dr. John, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Randy Newman, the Pointer Sisters, Tom Waits, Roberta Flack, and Jose Feliciano!
For our encore, I found a live NYC performance in 1978 of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker backed by Johnny Winter, Otis Blackwell, Eddie Bluesman Kirkland, Dave Honeyboy Edwards, Foghat and others doing "I Just Want To Make Love To You”
If you want to know or hear more, here’s The Official Muddy Waters website.
Thanks for giving us some of the most memorable tunes in history, Aries! Your songs will live forever. Not bad for a bluesman who pioneered a sound that rings the airwaves to this day!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson