Muddy Waters is considered to be the king of Chicago Blues. His great voice and slide guitar, his larger than life persona, and his ability to make a hit spearheaded him to the top blues artist of Chicago in the early 1950s. He always had the best of bands and structured his sound where the brilliance of his players would shine. Harmonica players, in particular, were always showcased in Muddy’s band. Some of Muddy’s harmonica players included Little Walter (who recorded on the majority of his Chess hits), Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Mojo Buford, Paul Oscher, Carey Bell, and Jerry Portnoy. His classic songs cut for Chess Records are quite frankly as good as it gets. Bob first heard Muddy on the Radio singing “Rolling Stone” at age 12 and from that point forward Bob’s life was changed.
Here is a page of photos to pay tribute to this great master.
Muddy Waters, St. Louis Jimmy, Chris Barber, Ottilie Patterson.
Muddy Waters and friends!
Muddy Waters 1950s Publicity Shot
Son Sims and a very young Muddy Waters. This photo was taken before Muddy made the move from Mississippi to Chicago.
A very young Muddy Waters.
Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters.
Muddy Waters. Photo Don Bronstein.
Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Otis Spann, Jacques Demêtre (noted French photographer), Muddy Waters. Photo courtesy of the Soul Bag Magazine Archives.
Muddy Waters and his wife Geneva, Chicago, 1951. Photo Art Shay.
Muddy playing cards, UK, early 1960’s, with Sonny Terry in the background.
Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon in Pleyel, France, 1962.
Muddy Waters and his granddaughter Cookie in his home at 4339 South Lake Park Avenue during an interview with Pete Welding (not pictured), Chicago, Illinois, January 9, 1964. Photo Ray Flerlage.
Muddy Waters with Willie Dixon, Toronto, 1966 (CBS Still Photo Collection)
Muddy Waters in front of Smitty’s Corner nightclub, Chicago.
Photo by J.P. Leloir
Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Muddy Waters.
B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Ivory Joe Hunter with the WDIA Little League Team, Memphis. Photo by Ernest Withers.
Muddy Waters and Otis Spann. Photo Jean-Pierre Leloir.
Muddy Waters, Luther “Snake” Johnson, Paul Oscher, Pee Wee Madison, Sonny Wimberly. Photo Jean Paul Leloir.
Photo by J.P. Leloir.
Ottilie Patterson and Muddy Waters performing at Conway Hall, London in 1958. Photo by Terry Cryer.
Big George Brock, unidentified woman, Muddy Waters.
Otis Spann, Muddy Waters, Big Moose Walker, Sammy Lawhorn.
Muddy Waters in 1964, filming a staged train station performance for the Blues & Gospel Caravan Tour, UK.
Muddy Waters, Luther “Georgia Boy” Johnson, Paul Oscher.
Otis Spann, Victoria Spivey, Muddy Waters.
Muddy Waters playing John Lee Hooker’s guitar backstage at Newport 1960! Photo by Burt Goldblatt.
Willie Dixon, Big Joe Williams, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Billy Stepney.
Muddy Waters, Mojo Buford, Luther “Snake” Johnson.
Big Moose Walker, Muddy Waters, Mojo Buford.
Top row: Jimmy Rushing, T-Bone Walker, Sonny Terry, Muddy Waters, Brownie McGhee. Bottom Row: James Cotton, comedian Spodie Odie backstage at the Apollo Theatre, New York, 1964. Photo by Don Paulsen.
Otis Spann, Muddy Waters, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry. Photo by John “Hoppy” Hopkins backstage on the 1964 Blues And Gospel Caravan Tour, somewhere in the English Midlands. Thank you Jim Clay for photo information.
Muddy Waters and Mike Bloomfield, 1964.
Muddy Waters and Terry Abrahamson. Terry co-wrote the Muddy Waters songs Electric Man and Unk In The Funk. Photo courtesy of the Terry Abrahamson archives.
Bob Margolin, Muddy Waters, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones.
Muddy Waters mid 1960s.
Muddy Waters at Castle Creek, Austin, TX, photo Burton Wilson.
Bonnie Raitt and Muddy Waters
Photo by Peter Mazel.
Muddy Waters interviewed by Michael Erlewine, Ann Arbor 1969 or 1970. Photo by Stanley Livingston.
Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters backstage at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. Photo by Tom Copi.
Muddy at the Country Club, London, December 1, 1970. Photo by Gisbert Hankeroot.
Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins, Florida, early 1970s. Photo courtesy Joseph Morganfield.
Like father like son! Lou Ann Barton with Muddy Waters in the 1970s, and with Muddy’s son, Mud Morganfield in the 2010s.
Muddy backstage with Martha O’Dell Bell and Chet Bell, Louisville, 1972. Photo courtesy of Texas Red, a.k.a. Paul Halperin.
Muddy Waters promotional button courtesy Sonny Burnett.
Muddy Waters, 1974. Photo by Jeff Johnson.
Muddy Waters, 1974, performing at New Trier East High School Gymnasium. Photo by Bob Corritore.
Muddy Waters, Warsaw, Poland, 1976. Photo by Zbyszek Jedrzejczyk.
Muddy Waters and Frank Edwards backstage, 1976 at the Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta. Photo by Pete Lowry.
Muddy Waters at the 1978 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Photo Lindsay Shannon.
Muddy Waters and Junior Wells at Antone’s Nightclub in Austin, Texas.
Photo by Chuck Fishman
Muddy Waters Blues Band 1980 in Japan.
Top row: Bob Margolin, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, Jerry Portnoy.
Seated: Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Muddy Waters, Muddy’s wife Marva Jean Brooks, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson.
Ernest Johnson, John Primer, Muddy Waters at the 1981 Niagra Falls Blues Festival. Photo courtesy Inger Tellefsen.
Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Photo Kirby Warnock.
Muddy Waters promo photo for Blue Sky Records, courtesy Jürgen Van Den Steene.
Muddy Waters draft card, signed by Muddy and showing his debated birth year as 1913 (some believe its 1915).
Here is the handbill for the 1969 concert from which the live parts of the album Fathers And Sons were recorded. Courtesy Timm Martin.
Muddy Waters at Pepper’s Lounge.
Muddy Waters children’s book by Michael Mahin with amazing illustration by Evan Turk.
Mural honoring Muddy Waters, State Street, Chicago.