Muddy Waters’ South Side Home Will Be A Museum
Nearly 40 years after the Chicago music legend's death, a move was made to preserve his southside home.
First, a quick reminder of what Muddy Waters sounded like:
You might want to listen to that during this blog.
Muddy, real name McKinley Morganfield, grew up in Mississippi where he taught himself how to play the guitar and harmonica by copying local blues artists. He moved to Chicago in his 30s (Muddy's exact year of birth is something of debate) to become a professional musician and music history was changed forever.
Muddy cut his first record for Columbia Records in 1946 and by the time the early '50s rolled around Muddy Waters had his own traveling band that would record such classics as "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want To Make Love To You" and "I'm Ready."
Muddy was a blues pioneer and is often called the "father of modern Chicago blues." Last time I checked, Chicago had a pretty robust blues history, so being called the origin of it all is pretty high praise.
The $50,000 grant ($2,500 from Landmarks Illinois and the rest from the National Trust for Historic Preservation's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund) to preserve Waters' house will do more than just open a museum on the property. Plans include a neighborhood museum attached to a community center, a small venue, recording studios, and a community garden.
Waters' great-granddaughter Chandra Cooper spearheaded the movement and has high hopes for the museum/community center.
We want to be able to support older artists as well and as a small venue where people can go in the basement and do a little recording,” Cooper told the Hyde Park Herald, “because while it wasn’t a recording studio downstairs — it was a rehearsal studio — we’d like to incorporate that into the overall experience.
The Muddy Waters Museum Project is expected to be completed sometime in 2022.