Mannish Boy (2:58)

Cover of Muddy Waters Long Distant Call

From Muddy Waters Long Distant Call and 392 other releases

“Mannish Boy” is a classic blues song, written by Ellas McDaniel (Bo Diddley), Mel London, and McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters), and first sung by Muddy Waters. It is a rearrangement of (and an answer to) the classic Bo Diddley hit “I’m a Man”. It was originally recorded and released in 1955 and re-recorded in 1977 in a version that was produced by Johnny Winter. The song is ranked #229 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The same basic riff in “Mannish Boy” can also be heard on another Muddy Waters song: “Hoochie Coochie Man”. This riff is common throughout the blues in both the five-note and a shortened four-note version. The guitar riff also appears on George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone”.

Bill Wyman has claimed that this song, not Rollin’ Stone, is the actual inspiration for the name Rolling Stones. He bases this claim on the fact that Rollin’ Stone had only been released as a 78 rpm single in 1949, and that the English youth of 1962 never owned 78s.


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