Watch The Band & Muddy Waters Iconic “Mannish Boy” 1976 Performance
via Ronald Rock / Youtube
When it comes to the Blues, Muddy Waters is the embodiment of the blues soul we were all missing. His dynamic performances and heartfelt recordings cemented his legacy as the creator of modern Chicago blues. Countless artists have looked to his electric blues approach as inspiration; Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, who took their name from Waters’ 1950 song “Rollin’ Stone,” are arguably the most devoted and well-known of Waters’ many disciples.
Many of Waters’ blues standards were original compositions, but his biggest song, “Mannish Boy,” was based on Bo Diddley’s 1955 hit “I’m A Man.” When Waters sang “Mannish Boy” with his signature agonized delivery, the song’s affirmation of manhood through its words hit home with a force that was real.
After six weeks on the list, the song peaked at #5 on the Billboard R&B chart. With this song, Muddy Waters achieved his highest position on the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 51 in 1988. The original “Mannish Boy” by Muddy Waters, released in 1986, was accepted into the Blues Hall of Fame as a “Classic of Blues Recordings” in 1986. Plus, many other musicians made their own renditions of the song, with Jimi Hendrix’s being particularly well-known.
We also recall a live performance of the song by Waters himself and The Band in 1976, which was just as memorable as Hendrix’s version. In 1978, Martin Scorsese filmed a concert film featuring the latter. The title, The Last Waltz, featured footage from their electric performance at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. Take a look at the video below.