This was written by the blues great Willie Dixon, who was one of the most prolific blues songwriters. Dixon told Paul Zollo in a 1988 interview: "People believe in mystic things. Like people today believe in astrology. That's been going on for generations, since biblical days. People all over the world believe in it. Even before Jesus was born, according to the Bible. The wise men saw the stars in the East and were able to predict about things. All of these things are mystic. They say, 'Hoochie coochie people are telling fortunes.' You know, like the wise men of the East. They call them 'voodoo men' or 'hoochie coochie men.' They used to call them 'hoodoo folk' and 'two-head people.' They got many names for everybody." (this appears in Zollo's book Songwriters On Songwriting)
In the blues tradition, there are some sexual overtones in this song, as "Hoockie Coochie" is a euphemism for "vagina."
According to Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time," before Waters recorded this song, he tested it out at the Chicago blues club Zanzibar. Dixon gave Waters some advice before the band hit it: "Well, just get a little rhythm pattern, do the same thing over again, and keep the words in your mind." Waters cut it a couple of weeks later, with Dixon on bass.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
British blues musician Long John Baldry named his 1964 band Long John Baldry And His Hoochie Coochie Men in honor of this song.