Long Distance Call Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters Long Distance Call

For more Muddy Waters music, click the image above

Muddy Waters sings of longing, long distance love, and that all important phone call at the 1968 Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Today’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival was not officially established until 1979, but Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world, had been presenting a series of concerts under the name since 1964. Tivoli Gardens is a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on August 15, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg. The 21-acre park is beautifully landscaped with fountains and flower beds. The park prides itself in the more than 111,000 custom-designed lights that illuminate it at night and the more than 400,000 colorful flowers, including 65,000 tulips. The architecture of the buildings in the park is wonderful and include the Nimb Palace Hotel, a Chinese Tower (built in 1900), a Glass Hall Theater, and Concert Hall.

Long Distance Call is a song by American blues musician Muddy Waters. It was first released as a single in 1951 by Chess Records (#1452), with Too Young To Know on the B-side. The single reached #8 on the US R&B chart. It was later released on the greatest hits album The Best of Muddy Waters (1958), and is hailed as a classic modern blues song; Waters’s singing is cited as an excellent example of the so-called blue notes.

Background and content

Long Distance Call originates in the song Long Distance Moan, recorded in September 1929 by Blind Lemon Jefferson (Paramount #12852). In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Muddy Waters was recording the type of music that helped the blues survive as a commercially viable type of music. Long Distance Call was recorded on 23 January 1951, with Little Walter on harmonica and Ernest “Big” Crawford on bass, in a session that also produced Too Young To Know, Honey Bee, and Howlin’ Wolf.

The lyrics feature a male first-person speaker addressing his female lover, asking her to say something kind to him. When a call comes, long-distance, it is only to tell him that another mule [is] kickin’ in your stall. John Collis calls the song a slow, meditative and soulful strut that has Waters (a Mississippi native then working in Chicago) “exploit migration as a commercial theme”.


Leave a Reply