Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Muddy Waters Centennial, Vitamin C Day

Thursday, April 4 will be the Centennial of Muddy Waters, born McKinley Morganfield in Issaquena County, Mississippi on April 4, 1913.

If you go to the 'official' Muddy Waters website and look up his biography, you'll see a claim that he was born April 4, 1915. But Wikipedia explains, "Recent research has uncovered documentation showing that in the 1930s and 1940s he reported his birth year as 1913 on both his marriage license and musicians' union card. A 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest claim of 1915 as his year of birth, which he continued to use in interviews from that point onward."

Muddy Waters was influential in the development of Chicago's blues scene. As the linked biography on his website states:
Members of Waters' various bands - guitarists Jimmy Rogers, Sammy Lawhorn and Luther Johnson, harmonica players Little Walter, Junior Wells and James Cotton, pianists Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins - left to strike out with bands of their own, spreading the Waters gospel further. Later generations of bluesmen took Waters' approach as their birthright: Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and scores of others-have all been in Waters' debt.
But the Chicago Blues and Muddy Waters in particular were inspirational to a generation of British musicians, too, including in particular the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton -- and through them a whole new generation of white American kids.

Waters died 30 years ago, on April 30, 1983.

Most of the Usual Suspects tell us that Thursday will also be Vitamin C Day. They don't tell us why. We asked our crack research staff to investigate this question -- and, with their predictable efficiency, we can only hope that we'll hear back from them before next Vitamin C Day.

President William Henry Harrison died on April 4, 1841, one month after giving an overly long inaugural address, on a particularly cold and wet day, without wearing either an overcoat or hat. (He was the oldest President ever elected to that point and he thought he would show how strong and vigorous he still was by eschewing these sensible precautions. He contracted pneumonia and died as a result.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

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