The City of Chicago will dedicate a ten-story mural to late blues icon Muddy Waters June 8th as part of the Chicago Blues Festival, TheAssociated Press reports. The mural is painted on the side of the building at 17 North State Street, at the corner of State and Washington Streets.
Waters was born in Mississippi and learned how to play guitar and harmonica as a teenager. He moved to Chicago in 1943, where he worked various odd jobs while playing clubs and cutting records. After several unsuccessful singles, he scored his first hits at the end of the Forties for Chess Records, including “Rollin’ Stone” and “I Can’t Be Satisfied.” Over the next decade, Waters would help define the gritty Chicago blues sound that would inspire rock and roll.
“We can’t even imagine music today without Muddy’s contributions coming out of the Chicago blues scene,” said Mark Kelly, who led the Big Walls project for Columbia College, “He’s a cultural hero and maybe someone who should be better honored and remembered, and what an incredible opportunity to put Muddy Waters up front and center in the middle of Chicago.”