Upsetting the folks at a Folk Festival.
European TV, ’66.
Howlin’ Wolf (born Chester Arthur Burnett outside of West Point, Mississippi, June 10, 1910, died January 10, 1976) would have been 101 today, had he lived. If they dug him up and stuck his bones onstage he’d still be better than 99.9% of what passes for blues or rock’n’roll these days. I’ve already blogged on him before (here and here), so I have little to add, except he remains my very favorite singer, and when ever I hear so and so (name your most overrated singer here) is a great “soul” singer, I want to stick a Howlin’ Wolf 78 in their ear. If you are not familiar with Wolf’s music, start with his early Chess and RPM sides, then the un-issued Sun Sessions, forget the psychedelic “birdshit” album, the London Sessions and SuperBlues jams unless you are a completist. For further reading I suggest James Segrest and Mark Hoffman’s Moanin’ At Midnight: The Life and Times Of Howlin’ Wolf (Pantheon Books, 2004). Happy Birthday Wolf, where ever you are.