Muddy was driven to excellence by a need to get out, move up and dominate the competition, with a natural ability for music and leadership. It was his savy as a leader with an eye for talent that set Muddy apart from most of his contemporaries. He was, unlike many other musicians, happy to feature his band members, knowing that if they looked good, so did he.
In his first band he assembled a group of head-cutters, Little Walter, who although barely a teenager, was a towering and innovative figure on his chosen instrument, the five & dime store harmonica; Otis Spann, who was widely regarded as the best blues piano player of the era, and Jimmie Rogers, a fine singer, guitarist and songwriter was a substantial artist in his own right.
That was only the beginning. He spent the next forty years raising up new generations of aspiring black and white blues-men, creating what has become a cornerstone of American music. After Muddy nothing was ever the same. He was a bridge from the American past, into a global future.
The song, "You can't Lose What You Never had" is probably one of his best known and loved songs. And it’s not surprising that it has seldom been covered. Its a man's song, not some teenage angst filled tune for the forlorn, or aspiring amateurs eager to have a springboard in which to exhibit their guitar noodling ambitions—if you haven't lived, its best left alone. If you do take your shot, you had better have the necessary talent and the brass to sing it. If not, step aside, and listen to what a real man sounds like.