Howlin’ Wolf

Howlin’ Wolf
“Howlin’ Wolf” was born “Chester Arthur Burnett” on June 10th, 1910 in West Point, Mississippi. He is considered one of the greatest blues vocalist of all time. In addition to this he was an accomplished harp player who learned from “Sonny Boy Williamson”. He had a low gritty voice that would curl your hair and was known for his trademark “howl” which he inflected on his recordings. In 1951 he recorded two of his own compositions for Chess Records entitled “Moanin’ At Midnight” and “How Many More Years”. In 1954 he relocated from Memphis to Chicago and teamed-up with songwriter bass player Willie Dixon were the two recorded both Dixon’s and Wolf’s most memorable tunes. He wrote a number of blues standards such as “Sitting on Top of the World”, “Smokestack Lightin'”, “The Red Rooster”,”Who’s Been Talkin” and “Forty-four”. Like many of the Delta Blues singers he had ties to the greats: Willie Brown,Charlie Patton, and the immortal Robert Johnson. Wolf stood 6’3″ and was an imposing figure behind the microphone who performed as if in a hypnotic trance. Underneath his gruff exterior was a charming personality with a quality that just made people like him. Brian Jones was a big fan and brought him on “Shindig” were he performed “How Many More Years” in true-wolf form. In 1970 he cut an album entitled “The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions” were he recorded all of his great songs with some of England’s finest musicians including Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Steve Winwood. He toured all the way up to his death from a kidney ailment on January 10th, 1976 at the age of 65. In 1997 “The Howlin’ Wolf Blues Society” of West Point Mississippi erected a mammoth tombstone with a lifesize marble statue of the Wolf over his grave.

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