Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's The Birthday of Howlin' Wolf

Howlin' Wolf was born on June 10, 1910 and he passed away on January 10, 1976. He was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player and band leader. His real name was Chester Arthur Burnett.

He was inducted into the blues hall of fame in 1980.

According to Wikipedia;

With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Burnett is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; musician and critic Cub Koda declared, "no one could match [Howlin' Wolf] for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits." Many songs popularized by Burnett—such as "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Back Door Man" and "Spoonful"—have become standards of blues and blues rock.

At 6 feet, 6 inches (198 cm) and close to 300 pounds (136 kg), he was an imposing presence with one of the loudest and most memorable voices of all the "classic" 1950s Chicago blues singers. Howlin' Wolf's voice has been compared to "the sound of heavy machinery operating on a gravel road". Although the two were reportedly not that different in actual personality, this rough edged, slightly fearsome musical style is often contrasted with the less crude but still powerful presentation of his contemporary and professional rival, Muddy Waters, to describe the two pillars of the Chicago Blues representing the music.

The Definitive Collection
mp3 Album by Howlin' Wolf
The Definitive Collection mp3 Album by Howlin' Wolf
click image

Wikipedia also provides the following Trivia about Howlin' Wolf;

  • French singer/song writer Francis Cabrel refers to Howlin' Wolf in the song "Cent Ans de Plus" on the 1999 album "Hors-Saison". Cabrel cites the artist as one of a number of blues influences, including Charley Patton, Son House, Blind Lemon, Robert Johnson (musician), Blind Blake, Willie Dixon and Ma Rainey.

  • In Marvel Comics Presents #65 in 1990, in a story written by Peter Gillis; in it, the superhero Starfox finds Howlin' Wolf alive and playing on an alien planet. Starfox then reveals that he had scooped Wolf off of his deathbed, healed him using alien technology, and given him the ability to transform into a literal werewolf.

  • Irish Rock band That Petrol Emotion titled the first song on their second album "Babble," "Chester Burnett."

  • American New Wave act The Knack named their second album "...But the Little Girls Understand," which is a lyric from the Willie Dixon penned Howlin' Wolf hit "Backdoor Man."

  • American music performer Captain Beefheart (née Don Van Vliet) has a voice that sounds very much like that of Howlin' Wolf.

  • In Hey Arnold, a Nikelodeon cartoon, Howlin' Wolf is given reference by the postman in the alias of a fictitious Blues singer known as 'Raspy Wolf' a blues artist who was supposedly known for singing in a raspy voice.

  • Writer Nathan Singer's time-travel novel, "Chasing the Wolf," has Howlin' Wolf as a primary character.

  • A song entitled Wolf Like Me by experimental rock band TV on the Radio was a tribute to Howlin' Wolf

  • Lowell George calls Burnett the man who invented Rock & Roll in an introduction and dedication to his "Apolitical Blues" which also includes his great story of his experience and awe when he met Burnett.


Howlin' Wolf

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