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Muddy Water’s Cabin

Muddy Water’s Cabin in Clarksdale, Mississippi was a recording site for many famous songs by Muddy Waters and other musicians. In 1941, on a basic recording trip paid for by the Library of Congress and a university, two workers set up equipment in Muddy Water’s cabin to record songs by Muddy and other famous blues performers including Henry Simms.

   

They returned in 1942 for more recordings. Two of the songs were about a Colonel that also owned a plantation there. They were songs dedicated to William Howard Stovall, and he was the leader of one of Clarksdale’s most prominent cotton families, and they were also innovators in agricultural work, and the Colonel created the burr clover harvester a few years back. The song was actually written at the request of the good Colonel. Waters played songs for field hands at his cabin, and it was a place of revelry and song-making. Muddy also performed at social functions that the Stovalls put on, and another band, the Mississippi Sheiks, did too.

Waters had a cousin who was a reverend, and he grew up on the Stovall plantation, and he repeatedly turned down offers to sing the blues, and he went into church service instead. He became a great recording artist for gospel music in the ‘60s. He also became a pastor of a church. Eddie Boyd was a singer and pianist that wrote some number one hits, and he was also born on the Stovall plantation. A blues bassist named David “pecan” Porter would later reside in the house that Muddy Waters had lived in. Porter was a member of the local music scene from the ‘60s to the ‘90s.

In the ‘80s, the house was in a state of disrepair, and it had not been occupied for quite awhile. It was at that point that tourists started to visit it as a shrine to Muddy Waters. Z.Z. Top guitarist, Billy Gibbons, made “Muddywood” guitars that were made from the house itself. He later used the guitars to bring attention to a fund-raising event to help the Delta Blues Museum. The Delta Blues Museum helps teach people about blues music. It is also a great place to explore cultural artifacts from the time period.

Muddy Water’s Cabin