In 1941, Alan Lomax and John Work were again recording in the South for the Library of Congress and searching for Robert Johnson (not knowing that he had been poisoned). In the process they discovered Muddy Waters. They recorded him singing “Country Blues” and “I Be’s Troubled,” and a year later they returned for more. In 1943,Muddy left the Delta for Chicago where, in addition to factory work, he began entertaining. In 1944, he bought his first electric guitar and applied it to the Delta blues. Waters made his first professional recordings as a sideman in 1946 when agent-promoter Walter Melrose arranged a session with Columbia Records for Sunnyland Slim. Later, in 1947, Waters recorded for the Aristocrat label owned by the Chess brothers. At that session Muddy had attempted a more modern urban sound, but at a second session in 1948, he reverted to the bottleneck style and recorded “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and “I Feel Like Going Home.” These were an unexpected success, and the first pressing sold out within 34 Here to Stay: Rock and Roll through the ‘70s Schafer2129_C01.QXD 7/31/07 11:03 AM Page 34 twelve hours. His updated big Delta sound resonated in the transplanted Southern community. Howlin’ Wolf (1910–1976): Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Burnett), also from the Delta area, had once been a student of Charlie Patton on the Dockery Plantation and had traveled with Robert Johnson for a while.Wolf earned his living as a farmer until 1948, when he moved to West Memphis to pursue a full-time musical career. In West Memphis, Wolf earned a reputation that landed him a radio show on WKEM, where he came to the attention of Sam Phillips. Phillips recorded Wolf in 1951, before the Memphis Recording Service became Sun Records and before he discovered Elvis. Phillips recorded “How Many More Years” and “Moanin’ at Midnight” and then sold Wolf ’s masters and contract to Chess Records in Chicago.Braced by the successof the records, Wolf moved to Chicago in 1952 or 1953. His next hit, “Smokestack Lightnin’,” came in 1956, and in the early 1960s he recorded a series of classics written by Willie Dixon: “Wang Dang Doodle,”“Spoonful,”“Back Door Man,” “The Little Red Rooster,” “I Ain’t Superstitious,” and “Goin’ Down Slow.” The recordings became important models for British Invasion groups like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, and the Animals. John Lee Hooker: John Lee Hooker was born in Clarksdale,Mississippi, in 1917 and moved to Detroit in 1943 to work in the auto factories. His style is electrified Mississippi Delta blues. Born Hooker. Hooker claims his style was derived from that of his stepfather, also a blues guitarist, who occasionally worked with Charlie Patton.Hooker’s guitar playing is similar to that of other Delta bluesmen, but his method of construction is quite different, perhaps even a reflection of what nineteenth-century blues was like. The guitar style has been described accurately as “incessant one-chord vamps,”though he does
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