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Regal Jimmy Rogers. In , he recorded his first records for Columbia Records and then for Aristocrat Records , a newly formed label run by the brothers Leonard and Phil Chess. In , he traveled to England, laying the foundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. His performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in was recorded and released as his first live album, At Newport Muddy Waters' music has influenced various American music genres, including rock and roll and rock music.
Muddy Waters's place and date of birth are not conclusively known. He stated that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi , in , but other evidence suggests that he was born in Jug's Corner, in neighboring Issaquena County , in A interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest in which he stated as the year of his birth, and he continued to say this in interviews from that point onward. The census lists him as five years old as of March 6, , suggesting that his birth year may have been The Social Security Death Index, relying on the Social Security card application submitted after his move to Chicago in the mids, lists him as being born April 4, His gravestone gives his birth year as His grandmother, Della Grant, raised him after his mother died shortly after his birth.
Grant gave him the nickname "Muddy" at an early age because he loved to play in the muddy water of nearby Deer Creek. He had his first introduction to music in church: "I used to belong to church. I was a good Baptist, singing in the church. So I got all of my good moaning and trembling going on for me right out of church,"  he recalled.
By the time he was 17, he had purchased his first guitar. Made about fifteen dollars for him, gave my grandmother seven dollars and fifty cents, I kept seven-fifty and paid about two-fifty for that guitar. It was a Stella. The people ordered them from Sears-Roebuck in Chicago. Williams recounted to Blewett Thomas that he eventually dropped Muddy "because he was takin' away my women [fans]".
In August ,  Alan Lomax went to Stovall, Mississippi , on behalf of the Library of Congress to record various country blues musicians. Man, you don't know how I felt that Saturday afternoon when I heard that voice and it was my own voice. Later on he sent me two copies of the pressing and a check for twenty bucks, and I carried that record up to the corner and put it on the jukebox. Just played it and played it and said, 'I can do it, I can do it'.
In , Muddy Waters headed to Chicago with the hope of becoming a full-time professional musician. He later recalled arriving in Chicago as the single most momentous event in his life. This gave him the opportunity to play in front of a large audience. He felt obliged to electrify his sound in Chicago because, he said, "When I went into the clubs, the first thing I wanted was an amplifier.
Couldn't nobody hear you with an acoustic. Willie Dixon said that "There was quite a few people around singing the blues but most of them was singing all sad blues. Muddy was giving his blues a little pep. In , Muddy recorded some songs for Mayo Williams at Columbia Records , with an old-fashioned combo consisting of clarinet, saxophone and piano; they were released a year later with Ivan Ballen's Philadelphia-based 20th Century label, billed as James "Sweet Lucy" Carter and his Orchestra — Muddy Waters' name was not mentioned on the label.
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