Marva Jean Brooks : Facts About Muddy Waters' 3rd Wife

Marva Jean Brooks was known for her beauty and marriage to the ”Father of modern Chicago Blues”, Muddy Waters. Marva Jean Brooks’ husband, Muddy Waters’ real name was McKinley Morganfield, and he was an American blues singer and musician.

They were notably one of the cutest couples in their time. In this article, I will recount everything you need to know about Marva Jean Brooks. 

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Marva Jean Brooks Age, Birthplace, Nationality, Wikipedia

Marva Jean Brooks was born in 1960. Much has not been said on her early stages of life, family or even schooling. 

Marva was laboring as a housekeeper at the hotel where Muddy Waters was staying when he had a show in Gainesville.

Her net worth is unknown at the moment but it would not be far-fetched to assume that during her marriage with this famous musician, she saved up enough to build a life on her own. 

Marva Jean Brooks and Muddy Waters relationship

Marva Jean Brooks got married to Muddy Waters after his first wife, Geneva Wade passed on. She was his life-long partner until she died of cancer on March 15, 1973.

Since Muddy and Geneva had three children, Muddy got custody them. Their names were, Joseph, Renee, and Rosalind. He bought a house in Westmont, Illinois and they all moved there. 

After some years, he traveled to Florida,. That was how he met his ex-wife, Marva Jean Brooks at the Days Inn on Newberry Street in Gainesville, Florida in 1977. He then nicknamed her ‘Sunshine’.


What they experience was love at a first sight, and at the time she was just 19 years old. The love birds got married in 1979.

His able  sons, Larry “Mud” Morganfield and Big Bill Morganfield, also entered into blues singing and music. In 2017 his youngest son, Joseph “Mojo” Morganfield, began publicly performing the blues. Joseph was known to play occasionally with his brothers. Unfortunately, Mojo died in 2020 at the age of 56.

Marva Jean Brooks’ husband, Muddy Waters

Marva’s ex-husband, Muddy Waters, does not have a conclusive place of birth publicized neither does he have his correct date of birth known. One time, he mentioned that he was born Rolling Fork, County Mississippi, in 1915. However, according to other sources and evidence, Muddy seems to have been born in 1913 in an unincorporated community of Jug’s Corner, in neighboring Issaquena County.

Before Marva Jean Brooks’ ex-husband had gained popularity and came into the limelight, in the 1930s and 1940s. The year of his birth was reported as 1913 on his marriage license, recording notes and musicians’ union card.

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His grandmother, Della Grant, decided to bring him up his mother died shortly after his birth. Grant had given him the name, at an early age because he loved to play in the muddy water of nearby Deer Creek. “Waters” was added years later, as he began to play harmonica and perform locally when he was still quite young. He learnt how to play the harmonica by himself . 

Marva’s ex-husband had his induction into music through church: “I used to belong to church. I was a good Baptist, singing in the church. So I got all of my good moaning and trembling going on for me right out of church,” he recalled. By the time he was 17, he had purchased his first guitar. He started playing his songs in joints near his hometown, mostly on a plantation owned by Colonel William Howard Stovall.

Marva Jean Brooks’ career

There is no information on Marva’s career. It is only known that she used to work at a hotel her ex-husband stayed when he was on tour around Gainesville.

Her ex-husband, Muddy Waters escorted Big Joe Williams on tours of the Delta, playing harmonica in the early 1930s. Williams told to Blewett Thomas that he eventually  dropped Muddy “because he was takin’ away my women”.

Marva Jean Brooks’ ex-husband, Muddy recorded a number of songs for Mayo Williams at Columbia Records, with an old-fashioned combo consisting of clarinet, saxophone and piano(in 1946) ; they were released after a whole year with Ivan Ballen’s Philadelphia-based 20th Century label, billed as James “Sweet Lucy” Carter and his Orchestra however, Muddy Waters’ name was not mentioned on the label. Later that year, he began recording for Aristocrat Records, a newly formed label run by the brothers Leonard and Phil Chess.

In 1947, he played guitar with Sunnyland Slim on piano on the cuts “Gypsy Woman” and “Little Anna Mae”. These were also shelved, but in 1948, “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and “I Feel Like Going Home” became hits, and his popularity in clubs began to take off. Some time later, Aristocrat changed its name to Chess Records. Muddy Waters’ signature tune “Rollin’ Stone” also became a hit that year.

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