Muddy Waters is a legendary name in blues music who had a fascinating life and career. Muddy Waters’ legacy of blues musical genius landed him critical accolades. By the time of his passing, Muddy Waters had won six Grammys, had four songs inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and won five Blues Foundation Awards.
However, much of this success was partly fueled by his marriage to Geneva Morganfield, his third wife, and the other half of his longest marriage. Geneva Morganfield is an important part of the bluesman’s legacy.
Who is Muddy Waters?
Muddy Waters, born McKinley Morganfield near Rolling Fork, Mississippi on April 4, 1915, was a legendary blues performer. His musical career began early and by 17 years old he was playing both the guitar and harmonica, styling his own work after blues musicians such as Son House and Robert Johnson.
Waters’ first brush with fame was when he was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941 as a national archival project, and by 1943 he began work as a musician.
By the 1950s Muddy Waters and his band would record legendary blues songs such as “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “I”m ready.” The work of Muddy Waters would go on to influence music across many genres.
His career would continue on into the early 1980s, finding him collaborating with the likes of Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. Muddy Waters would pass away in his sleep from cancer-related heart failure on April 30, 1983.
Who is Geneva Morganfield?
Geneva Morganfield, born Geneva Wade in 1915, married Muddy Waters in the late 1940s. The exact date of their marriage is unknown. She and Muddy Waters were together until she passed away in 1973.
Geneva Morganfield was the third wife of Muddy Waters, but part of his longest-lasting marriage.
When did they get married? How long were they married?
The date of marriage for Geneva Wade and Muddy Waters is unknown but is likely to have happened shortly after his first marriage, to Mabel Berry, came to an end. Waters and Berry were married from 1932 to 1935.
Shortly after he married Sally Ann Adams in 1942, and had ended their relationship before the end of the 1940s. Some sources suggest Muddy Waters and Geneva Morganfield married in the late 1940s, though dates vary.
Given that Muddy Waters remained married to Geneva Morganfield until her death in 1973, it is likely that they were married for 20 or more years.
Do they have kids? Who are their children?
Muddy Waters had at least six children, but not all of them were with Geneva. His first three children were with Geneva and included Joseph, Renee, and Rosalind Morganfield. Muddy Waters would have an additional three children later with his third wife, Marva Jean. These children would be his sons Larry “Mud” Morganfield, Big Bill Morganfield, and Joseph “Mojo” Morganfield.
Complicating this genealogy was Waters’ infidelity where it is said that he had likely fathered several children outside of his marriages.
When and how did she die?
Geneva Morganfield died on March 15th, 1973, from cancer. The type of cancer that took her life is unknown. Sadly, Muddy Waters would die from cancer-driven heart failure nearly a decade later.
Did Muddy Waters remarry after Geneva die?
Muddy Waters did remarry after Geneva’s passing. He would marry then 19-year old Marva Jean Brooks in 1979. He would remain married to Marva Jean until his passing in 1983.
Where are Geneva and Muddy buried?
Geneva Morganfield and Muddy Waters are buried next to one another in Restvale Cemetary in Cook Count, Illinois. Their graves can be visited in Section H, Lot 133.