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|Single by Muddy Waters|
|B-side||"Young Fashioned Ways"|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm, 10-inch 78 rpm record|
|Recorded||Chicago, May 24, 1955|
|Writer(s)||McKinley Morganfield a.k.a. Muddy Waters, Mel London, Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley|
|Producer(s)||Leonard Chess, Phil Chess|
|Muddy Waters singles chronology|
"Mannish Boy" (or "Manish Boy" as it was originally titled) is a blues standard by Muddy Waters. First recorded in 1955, the song is both an arrangement of and an "answer song" to Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man", which was in turn inspired by Waters' and Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man". "Mannish Boy" features a repeating stop-time figure on one chord throughout the song and is credited to Waters, Mel London, and Bo Diddley.
Muddy Waters versions
The original version of "Mannish Boy" was recorded in Chicago on May 24, 1955, under the title "Manish Boy." Accompanying Muddy Waters were Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Junior Wells on harmonica, Fred Below on drums, and an un-identified female chorus. The original version was the only recording done by Muddy Waters between January 1953 and June 1957 that did not feature Little Walter on harmonica (who was on tour supporting his then-number one hit "My Babe" and thus unavailable for the recording session) and was one of few studio recordings with Junior Wells.
Muddy Waters recorded several versions of "Mannish Boy" during his career. In 1968, he recorded it for the Electric Mud album in Marshall Chess' attempt to attract the rock market. After he left Chess, he recorded it for the 1977 Hard Again album which was produced by Johnny Winter. The song also was included on the live album Muddy "Mississippi" Waters - Live (1979). He also performed it at The Band's farewell concert The Last Waltz, and the performance was included in the documentary film of the concert as well as on the film's soundtrack of the same title.
Charts and accolades
In 1986, Muddy Waters' original "Mannish Boy" was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame "Classics of Blues Recordings" category. It was also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". "Mannish Boy" is ranked number 230 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Recordings by other artists
- A jam recording by Jimi Hendrix appears on the compilation album Blues.
- Paul Butterfield recorded it in 1986 for his album The Legendary Paul Butterfield Rides Again.
- Hindu Love Gods for their self-titled album
- The Bocephus Box, a three-CD box set by Hank Williams, Jr., released in 2000 includes a version
- Elliott Murphy for Murphy gets Muddy (2005)
- The Rolling Stones often played it live and it appears on Love You Live and Rarities 1971-2003
- Wolfmother for a special edition of Cosmic Egg
- Black Stone Cherry performed a heavier version along with "Hoochie Coochie Man" in October 2009 at Rockaplast in Germany
- An arrangement appears in the 2003 Martin Scorsese documentary film series The Blues. In the fifth film, titled Godfathers and Sons and directed by Marc Levin, Mannish Boy was redone by The ElectriK Mud Kats (a.k.a. The Electric Mud Band, Muddy Waters' backing group from his album Electric Mud) with vocals by hip hop artists Chuck D, Common & Kyle Jason
- Roger Daltrey performed it on Jools Holland's New Years show on December 31, 2010
- A recording by Erykah Badu was featured in an H&M TV advert in spring 2011
- Aerosmith performed the song on The Howard Stern Show on January 13, 1995
- A version by Jeff Garlin appeared in the 2003 movie Daddy Day Care
- The Mannish Boys' version was featured during the credits at the end of the 2007 movie, What Love Is
- A performance by John Mayer was the opening song for the 2014 Budweiser Made in America Festival.
- Big Country performed versions of the song at the Country Club Convention, Glen Pavilion, Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline on Aug. 31, 1991 and at Biskuithalle Bonn, on Sept. 6, 1991
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 4 - The Tribal Drum: The rise of rhythm and blues. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- Herzhaft, Gerard (1992). "I'm a Man". Encyclopedia of the Blues. Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press. p. 454. ISBN 1-55728-252-8.
- Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 453. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
- "Muddy Waters – Singles". Official Charts. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- Blues Foundation (November 10, 2016). "1986 Hall of Fame Inductees: Manish Boy – Muddy Waters (Chess, 1955)". The Blues Foundation. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
- "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll (Artists W-Z)". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009.
- Rolling Stone (December 9, 2004). "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone (963).
- "The Blues . The Songs & the Artists . Discography . Godfathers and Sons". PBS. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- Erykah-badu.com Archived August 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.