Nashville based Third Man Records announced earlier this month a new partnership with Universal Music Group in an effort to highlight the depth and importance of the Chess Records catalogue. Third Man Records was launched by Jack White in Detroit, MI in 2001, and in 2009 opened its current Nashville, TN location. Third Man is an innovator in the world of vinyl records and strives to push the boundaries in the world of recorded music. Their Nashville location houses not only the label offices but also a record store, live venue and the world’s only live venue with direct-to-acetate recording capabilities.
In what is now their third ongoing, label-based series of 7″ reissues, along with their Sun Records and Tamla Records series, earlier this month they released three singles that are the pinnacle of Muddy Waters’ recorded output. The Bundle Includes:
‘Mannish Boy’ (flip side) ‘Young Fashioned Ways’
‘She’s All Right’ (flip side) ‘Sad, Sad Day’
‘Rollin’ Stone’ (flip side) ‘Walking Blues’
Muddy Waters is considered the première 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 “Mannish 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, however they are the only label to reissue them as 7” singles, a label priority they are proud of.
Additional recordings in their partnership with Universal’s Chess Records catalogue will follow later this year, including a reissue of Muddy Waters’ Electric Mud, and this first batch is available on black vinyl wherever fine, new records are sold and via the thirdmanstore.com, as well as a limited edition on “Chess-nut” Brown vinyl at both Third Man Records store-fronts and at Reckless Records in Chicago, while supplies last.
The bundle of 3 releases is available here.
Listen to the original 1955 recording of Muddy Waters classic Mannish Boy: