|Single by Muddy Waters|
|Genre||Blues, electric blues|
|Songwriter(s)||Muddy Waters (credited)|
|Producer(s)||Leonard Chess, Phil Chess|
|Muddy Waters singles chronology|
"Rollin' Stone" is a blues song recorded by Muddy Waters in 1950. It is his interpretation of "Catfish Blues", a Delta blues that dates back to 1920s Mississippi."Still a Fool", recorded by Muddy Waters a year later using the same arrangement and melody, reached number nine on the Billboard R&B chart. "Rollin' Stone" has been recorded by a variety of artists.
In 1928, Jim Jackson recorded "Kansas City Blues Parts 3 and 4", a follow-up to his highly successful "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues Parts 1 and 2". Jackson's lyrics included:
I wished I was a catfish swimming down in the sea
I'd have some good woman fishing after me
Several other early songs also explored variations on the catfish and/or fishing theme. In 1941, Tommy McClennan and his sometime partner Robert Petway each recorded versions of the song. Petway's was the first to be titled "Catfish Blues" and is sometimes cited as the basis for Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone".However, according to one biographer "They'd been singing "Catfish Blues" for years in the Delta, but it never sounded like "Rollin' Stone".
"Rollin' Stone" has been identified (along with "Walkin' Blues", the single's B-side) as one of the first songs that Muddy Waters learned to play and an early favorite.The words refer to the traditional proverb, "A rolling stone gathers no moss".
Called "a brooding, minor-hued drone piece","Rollin' Stone" is a mid- to slow-tempo blues notated in 4/4 time in the key of E major. Although the instrumental section uses the IV and V chords, the vocal sections remain on the I chord, giving the song a modal quality often found in Delta blues songs. In addition to the traditional catfish verses, Waters added:
Well my mother told my father just before I was born
'I got a boy child comin', gonna be, gonna be a rollin' stone
Sho' enough he's a rollin' stone
Unlike most of his early recordings which have bass or other instrumental accompaniment, "Rollin' Stone" is a solo performance by Muddy Waters on vocal and electric guitar. It has "much empty space ... imbued with the power of a pause, of letting a note hang in the air, the anticipation of the next one".
"Rollin' Stone" was the first Muddy Waters record released on Chess Records and the second overall for the label (previous releases were on Aristocrat Records).It did not reach the national record charts, but sold about 70,000 copies and allowed Muddy Waters to quit his day job.
In 1951, Muddy Waters used the vocal melody and guitar figure from "Rollin' Stone" for "Still a Fool".The song was more successful, reaching number nine in the Billboard R&B chart. Rather than a solo piece, Little Walter on second guitar and Leonard Chess on bass drum accompanied Muddy on vocal and guitar. Subsequent versions of "Rollin' Stone" or "Catfish Blues" often use some lyrics from "Still a Fool" (sometimes called "Two Trains Running" after the opening verse).
According to music writer Robert Palmer, English blues rock group the Rolling Stones and the music magazine Rolling Stone took their names from the song.However, magazine editor Jann Wenner explained:
The name of it [the magazine] is Rolling Stone, which comes from an old saying: 'A Rolling Stone gathers no moss.' Muddy Waters used the name for a song he wrote; The Rolling Stones took their name from Muddy’s song, and 'Like A Rolling Stone' was the title of Bob Dylan’s first rock and roll record.
In 2000, the song was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award;in 2004, it was included at number 459 by Rolling Stone in its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". It was updated to number 465 in 2010. In 2019, the Blues Foundation inducted "Rollin' Stone" into the Blues Hall of Fame as a "Classic of Blues Recording".
In 1967, "Rollin' Stone" (and "Still a Fool") was used as part of Jimi Hendrix's "Catfish Blues", a homage to Muddy Waters, and included on the albums BBC Sessions and Blues . Hendrix's signature songs "Voodoo Chile" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" evolved from his "Catfish Blues".
Slide guitar is a technique for playing the guitar that is often used in blues music. It involves playing a guitar while holding a hard object against the strings, creating the opportunity for glissando effects and deep vibratos that reflect characteristics of the human singing voice. It typically involves playing the guitar in the traditional position with the use of a slide fitted on one of the guitarist's fingers. The slide may be a metal or glass tube, such as the neck of a bottle. The term bottleneck was historically used to describe this type of playing. The strings are typically plucked while the slide is moved over the strings to change the pitch. The guitar may also be placed on the player's lap and played with a hand-held bar.
William James Dixon was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. He was proficient in playing both the upright bass and the guitar, and sang with a distinctive voice, but he is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Next to Muddy Waters, Dixon is recognized as the most influential person in shaping the post–World War II sound of the Chicago blues.
McKinley Morganfield, known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who was an important figure in the post-war blues scene, and is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues". His style of playing has been described as "raining down Delta beatitude".
Lejzor Szmuel Czyż, best known as Leonard Sam Chess, was a Polish-American record company executive and the co-founder of Chess Records. He was influential in the development of electric blues, Chicago blues, and rock and roll.
John Dawson Winter III was an American singer and guitarist. Winter was known for his high-energy blues rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s. He also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Marion Walter Jacobs, known as Little Walter, was an American blues musician, singer, and songwriter, whose revolutionary approach to the harmonica had a strong impact on succeeding generations, earning him comparisons to such seminal artists as Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. He was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, the first and, to date, only artist to be inducted specifically as a harmonica player.
George "Buddy" Guy is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues who has influenced generations of guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Gary Clark Jr. and John Mayer. In the 1960s, Guy played with Muddy Waters as a session guitarist at Chess Records and began a musical partnership with blues harp virtuoso Junior Wells.
Electric Mud is the fifth studio album by Muddy Waters, with members of Rotary Connection playing as his backing band. Released in 1968, it imagines Muddy Waters as a psychedelic musician. Producer Marshall Chess suggested that Muddy Waters recorded it in an attempt to appeal to a rock audience.
Albert Nelson, known by his stage name Albert King, was an American blues guitarist and singer whose playing influenced many other blues guitarists. He is perhaps best known for the popular and influential album Born Under a Bad Sign (1967) and its title track. He, B.B. King, and Freddie King, all unrelated, were known as the "Kings of the Blues". The left-handed King was known for his "deep, dramatic sound that was widely imitated by both blues and rock guitarists."
Blues is a compilation album of blues-style songs recorded by American musician Jimi Hendrix. Compiled by interim Hendrix producer Alan Douglas, it was released April 26, 1994, by MCA Records. The album contains eleven songs recorded by Hendrix between 1966 and 1970, six of which were previously unreleased. Hendrix wrote seven of the pieces; others include Muddy Waters, Booker T. Jones, and Elmore James. Most are demos, jams, and live recordings, which Hendrix may or may not have completed for release.
"Voodoo Chile" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded in 1968 for the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland. It is based on the Muddy Waters blues song "Rollin' Stone", but with original lyrics and music. At 15 minutes, it is Hendrix's longest studio recording and features additional musicians in what has been described as a studio jam.
"Voodoo Child " is a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968 that appears as the final track on the Electric Ladyland album released that year. It contains improvised guitar and a vocal from Jimi Hendrix, backed by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The song is one of Hendrix's best known; it was a feature of his concert performances throughout his career, and several live renditions were recorded and released on later albums.
"Baby, Please Don't Go" is a traditional blues song that was popularized by Delta blues musician Big Joe Williams in 1935. Many cover versions followed, leading to its description as "one of the most played, arranged, and rearranged pieces in blues history" by French music historian Gérard Herzhaft.
"Rollin' and Tumblin'" is a blues standard first recorded by American singer-guitarist Hambone Willie Newbern in 1929. Called a "great Delta blues classic", it has been interpreted by hundreds of Delta and Chicago blues artists, including well-known recordings by Muddy Waters. Rock musicians usually follow Waters' versions, with the 1960s group Cream's rendition being perhaps the best known.
Robert Petway was an American blues singer and guitarist. He recorded only 16 songs, but it has been said that he was an influence on many notable blues and rock musicians, including John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix. There is only one known picture of Petway, a publicity photo from 1941. His birth name may have been Pettyway, Pitway, Petaway, or similar.
"Hoochie Coochie Man" is a blues standard written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954. The song makes reference to hoodoo folk magic elements and makes novel use of a stop-time musical arrangement. It became one of Waters' most popular and identifiable songs and helped secure Dixon's role as Chess Records' chief songwriter.
"Got My Mojo Working" is a blues song written by Preston "Red" Foster and first recorded by R&B singer Ann Cole in 1956. Foster's lyrics describe several amulets or talismans, called mojo, which are associated with hoodoo, an early African-American folk-magic belief system.
Rollin' Stone: The Golden Anniversary Collection is a compilation album collecting the first 50 master recordings of blues singer Muddy Waters for Chess Records. The collection spans Muddy's debut with then named Aristocrat Records circa 1947, and traces his evolution as a songwriter and musician up to September 17, 1952 on what became Chess Records after the company changed ownership. It is the first in a series of releases chronicling Muddy Waters' complete recording career at Chess. The second release in the series is Hoochie Coochie Man: The Complete Chess Masters, Volume 2, 1952–1958 (2004) and the third release in the series is You Shook Me: The Complete Chess Masters, Volume 3, 1958 to 1963 (2012).
McKinley Morganfield A.K.A. Muddy Waters is a compilation album by blues musician Muddy Waters featuring tracks recorded between 1948 and 1953 released by the Chess label in 1971.