The legendary Muddy Waters died on this date in 1983, at the age of 70. Muddy had more than a dozen top ten hits on the R&B charts in the 1950s. One song that didn't make the charts, "Rollin' Stone" in 1950, led to the names of Rolling Stone magazine and the band The Rolling Stones. Chess Records released a compilation album, The Best of Muddy Waters, in 1958. That album, along with 1960's Muddy Waters at Newport 1960, were hugely influential, especially with the emerging blues bands in England. In the late 70s, one of the men he had influenced, Johnny Winter, produced two studio and one live album that marked another resurgence for Waters. He won six Grammys over the years, including the three with Winter. Also noteworthy was his appearance at the final concert of The Band in 1976, released on record and as a Martin Scorsese-directed film in 1978.
We saw Muddy once in 1980 at the Keystone Berkeley, which no longer exist. John Lee Hooker opened the show. The Keystone was intimate: it had a capacity of only 435. A tale I've told too often: after the show, I went up to Muddy Waters and shook his hand.
Here's "Long Distance Call". Not sure of the date ... late 60s-early 70s:
Here he is at the Last Waltz:
And here's Muddy in 1981 with "Champagne and Reefer", on stage with the band that named themselves after one of his songs:
Bonus: Here is John Lee Hooker with "Boom Boom", recorded in 1979 but released in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers: