Urban Blues

Who combined blues and guitar to create urban blues?

In 1943 Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield; 1915–1983) was the first person to combine blues and amplified guitar to create urban blues. A guitarist and singer, he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, and grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It is said that he was nicknamed “Muddy” because as a child he liked to play in the mud; the name Waters was added later. He left the Mississippi Delta and toured with the Silas Green tent show. In 1943 he settled in Chicago, where he adopted the electric guitar. Waters was discovered by folklorist Alan Lomax. In 1948 Waters signed a recording contract and became known as the “King of the Delta (or Country) Blues.”

Combining traditional blues with electric guitar, Muddy Waters originated the urban blues.


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