Born McKinley Morganfield, but known professionally as Muddy Waters, he was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues", and an important figure on the post-war blues scene.
He had his first introduction to music in church: "I used to belong to church. I was a good Baptist, singing in the church. So I got all of my good moaning and trembling going on for me right out of church," he recalled. By the time he was 17, he had purchased his first guitar. "I sold the last horse that we had. Made about fifteen dollars for him, gave my grandmother seven dollars and fifty cents, I kept seven-fifty and paid about two-fifty for that guitar. It was a Stella. The people ordered them from Sears-Roebuck in Chicago." He started playing his songs in joints near his hometown, mostly on a plantation owned by Colonel William Howard Stovall.
In the early 1950s, Muddy Waters and his band—Little Walter Jacobs on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Elga Edmonds on drums and Otis Spann on piano—recorded several blues classics, some with the bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon. These songs included "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and "I'm Ready". In 1958, he traveled to England, laying the foundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. His performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 was recorded and released as his first live album, At Newport 1960.
What did I hear goin' on 'round town
You tell everybody you're gonna put the kid down
Whoa Loard baby you drivin' me insane
You been messin' with the kid, you better not be messin' with the man
You know the kid didn't jive, you know the kid didn't play
He said what he mean and he meant what he said
Whoa Lord now baby you drivin' me insane