Third Man Records is proud to introduce our partnership with Universal Music Group in an effort to highlight the depth and importance of the Chess Record catalog. In what is now our third ongoing, label-based series of 7” reissues, along with our Sun Records and Tamla Records series, today we release three singles that are the pinnacle of Muddy Waters’ recorded output.
Muddy Waters is considered the premiere Chicago blues artist. His recordings influenced everyone from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, and countless others. Before his name was synonymous with the Chicago sound and Chess Records, Waters was an aspiring musician in the Mississippi delta whose confidence was bolstered by a visit and field recording by Alan Lomax.
"I really heard myself for the first time. I'd never heard my voice. I used to sing; used to sing just how I felt, 'cause that's the way we always sang in Mississippi," Waters told one journalist. "But when Mr. Lomax played me the record I thought, man, this boy can sing the blues."
The move from Mississippi to Chicago to become a professional musician resulted in two early Muddy Waters hits on the Chess brothers’ Aristocrat Records, which shortly thereafter changed its name to Chess Records. Originally released on 78rpm records in 1950, 1953, and 1955 respectively, Waters signature first hit single on Chess, “Rollin Stone” b/w “Walkin’ Blues,” is paired with “She’s All Right” b/w “Sad, Sad Day” and “Manish Boy” b/w “Young Fashioned Ways.”
With recordings this iconic, the Third Man Records pressings are not the first time these songs have been given new life, but we are the only label to reissue them as 7” singles, a label priority we are proud of.
Additional recordings in our partnership with Universal’s Chess Records catalog will follow later this year, including a reissue of Electric Mud, and this first batch is available on black vinyl wherever new records are sold and via thirdmanstore.com, as well as a limited edition on “Chess-nut” Brown in our Vault store online, both Third Man Records storefronts, and in Reckless Records in Chicago, while supplies last.