Hoochie Coochie Man Introduction
But the song is also rich in cultural references dragged straight out of the Deep South, where Muddy, Dixon, and the blues were originally born. A black cat's bone? A mojo? A John the Conqueroo? With literally hundreds of thousands of African American southerners newly resettled in Chicago and trying to adjust to an urban lifestyle, it's no wonder that the song's silly riffs full of insider references were such a hit. Muddy's gritty, forceful style and playful delivery make this song an influential blues classic.
About the Song
|Artist||Muddy Waters||Musician(s)||Muddy Waters (guitar and vocals); Little Walter (harmonica); Otis Spann (piano); Jimmy Rogers (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums)|
|Album||Released as a single|
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In previous decades, a comic song like "Hoochie Coochie Man," based on hoodoo superstitions and Deep South slang, would have been relegated to the category of "race music" (an anachronistic term for music sung by black people for black audiences). But as Muddy and other Chicago bluesmen exploded onto the scene, so did civil rights and racial integration. By the 1960s, many of Muddy's followers were white hippies, some as infamous as Jim Morrison, who gave himself an unfortunate nickname based on "Hoochie Coochie Man." Don't ask, just read on.
On the Charts"Hoochie Coochie Man" reached #8 on Billboard's Black Singles chart. (This was before the days of racial integration in music ratings, by the way. Speaking of racial integration, pop quiz: what Supreme Court decision in the same year—1954—had a huge impact on that exact issue? Click here if you are stumped.)
The song is listed at #225 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
The song is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." Muddy Waters has four songs on that list, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Muddy Waters' version of "Hoochie Coochie Man" was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984, 30 years after it was recorded, as a "Classic of Blues Recordings."
Muddy Waters was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."