A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Written by Willie Dixon and first recorded in 1954 by McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters, the father of Chicago blues.
McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), better known by his stage name Muddy Waters, grew up on Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi and by age seventeen was playing the guitar at parties, emulating local blues artists Son House and Robert Johnson. He was recorded by Alan Lomax there for the Library of Congress in 1941. In 1943, he headed to Chicago with the hope of becoming a full-time professional musician, eventually recording for Columbia and Aristocrat Records, as well as a newly formed label run by brothers Leonard and Phil Chess.
In the long career that followed, Morganfield’s influence was significant on blues, rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, hard rock, folk, jazz, and country.