Muddy Waters Record Gives Rise to the Rolling Stones
Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were already fans of Chicago blues music, when they ran into each other on a train. They each noticed the other was carrying a Muddy Waters record, and through this mutual interest, they became friends and band mates.
Before writing their own songs, they played mostly blues and rock and roll – artists like Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.
The band’s name itself comes from a Muddy Waters song called “Rolling Stone”.
Like Eric Clapton, the American Folk Blues Festival was also a huge influence. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Mick Jones recount how they were awestruck by Howlin’ Wolf’s performance in 1962.
Their debut album in 1964 contained several blues covers including Wolf’s Little Red Rooster, Slim Harpo’s I’m A King Bee, and Muddy Waters’ I Just Want to Make Love to You.
They continued to reference blues songs throughout their career, and in 2016, they even recorded an entire album of blues covers “Blue and Lonesome” to pay homage to their roots.
Little Red Rooster – Rolling Stones
“Little Red Rooster” is a cover of a song by Howling Wolf (aka Chester Burnett), a Chicago blues musician who recorded for Chess Records.
Little Red Rooster – Howlin’ Wolf
I’m a King Bee – Rolling Stones
“I’m a King Bee” is a song by Slim Harpo (aka James Isaac Moore), a Louisiana based “swamp blues” musician and vocalist. He recorded on Excello Records.
I’m a King Bee – Slim Harpo
I Just Want To Make Love To You – Rolling Stones
“I Just Want To Make Love To You” is a cover of song by Muddy Waters.
I Just Want To Make Love To You – Muddy Waters
Love in Vain Blues – Rolling Stones
“Love in Vain Blues” was originally done by Robert Johnson, a blues musician from the Missisippi River Delta area. After Johnson’s 29 songs from the 1930s were re-released as an album called “King of the Delta Blues Singers” in 1961, his music became an influence for the Rolling Stones as well as a number of other British blues rockers.
Love in Vain Blues – Robert Johnson
You Gotta Move – Rolling Stones
“You Gotta Move” was originally recorded by Mississippi Fred McDowell, a blues musician from the North Mississippi hill country (as opposed to the Mississippi Delta region). Each region had its own style of blues.
You Gotta Move – Fred McDowell
Stop Breaking Down Blues – Rolling Stones
This song, from the album “Exile on Main Street” was a cover of a song by Robert Johnson.
Stop Breaking Down Blues – Robert Johnson