Tom Williams


“I Want You to Call Me Daddy:” Ten Fathers of the Blues

Blues and fathers might not be, at first glance, the most obvious of pairings. For one, according to Muddy Waters (father of the electric blues, according to some), blues is a woman who “got pregnant/and they named the baby rock and roll.” As well, some of the finest practitioners of the form (Charley Patton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, to name a few) never earned the best of reputations; the songs themselves rarely celebrate the joys of domesticity or the well-earned comforts of family life.

Yet in the lyrics, among the players, and throughout the history of the music, fathers of all sorts have been, well, instrumental. This list attempts to pin down a few, in honor of Father’s Day.