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Happy 100th to the Wolf!
June 10, 2010 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Chester Arthur Burnett , better known as Howlin' Wolf, was born 100 years ago today.

The Wolf takes blues great and whisky lover Son House to task in this clip. In the interest of equal time, then, let's pay Mr. House a visit for one of his soul-stirring performances of Death Letter Blues. I'm thinking in heaven, the Wolf and Son House made up and are, if not playing together, at least offering due respect for each other's unique and remarkable talents.
posted by flapjax at midnite (34 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
My favorite album growing up was Muddy (Waters) & the Wolf!! I just went and put it on as soon as I saw this thread. Flapjax you done it again!! The Wolf is one bad ass musician!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:13 PM on June 10, 2010


Happy Birthday Mr. Wolf!
posted by marxchivist at 8:37 PM on June 10, 2010


P J Harvey covers "Wang Dang Doodle": 1 (solo), 2 (with band)
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:51 PM on June 10, 2010


Geesh, is there some competition this week for great posts?

All I know about Howling Wolf is what I saw in the movie Cadillac Records, played by Eammon Walker. He seemed ready to leap out of the screen. Just fantastic.
posted by etaoin at 8:55 PM on June 10, 2010


To me Howlin' Wolf is and will forever be the motherfuckin' cuttin' edge, one hundred or one thousand years or more. I cannot get tired of Smokestack Lightnin' and so can you.
posted by nola at 8:56 PM on June 10, 2010


Oops, Eamonn Walker.
posted by etaoin at 8:56 PM on June 10, 2010


Anyone have a link for "Killing Floor"?
posted by Tashtego at 8:57 PM on June 10, 2010


Dude was built for comfort, but his tune was wailin', man.
posted by darkstar at 8:59 PM on June 10, 2010


Listened to a big long radio show on WWOZ featuring the Wolf.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:17 PM on June 10, 2010


Don't forget Coon on the Moon.
posted by dobbs at 9:18 PM on June 10, 2010


His grave is not far from my family's graves. I think I need to stop by and pay my respects, Spoonful has been a song that kept reappearing in many of my mixtapes over the years.

He was Three Hundred Pounds of Joy.
posted by readery at 9:21 PM on June 10, 2010


From the wonderful London Howlin' Wolf Sessions: I Ain't Superstitious .
posted by Sailormom at 9:39 PM on June 10, 2010


JohnnyGunn: "My favorite album growing up was Muddy (Waters) & the Wolf!! I just went and put it on as soon as I saw this thread. Flapjax you done it again!! The Wolf is one bad ass musician!"

I don't usually quote myself, but I want to add that on the Muddy & the Wolf album, playing with the Wolf are Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart and Hubert Sumlin. Not a shabby group.

From the liner notes: "...Wolf is always Wolf; it probably wouldn't have phazed him if Queen Elizabeth herself had shown up at his London sessions, but he was obviously knocked out by the strong rockin' support of the band that came to play. Listen to him encourage Eric Clapton on the finer points of slide [guitar] playing, listen to the fierceness in his voice, untouched and undiminished by time or age."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:41 PM on June 10, 2010


"A lotta people say they don't like the blues. But you're wrong. Because, you see, the blues, they come from way back."
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:13 PM on June 10, 2010


I heard Chester, Muddy, and Willie Dixon all play at Liberty Hall in Houston back in the late seventies. Big Mama Thornton played there, too, and Lightnin' Hopkins, BB, Albert, and Earl King, all the great ones. Man, I miss those days.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:15 PM on June 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, late sixties. You know, the drugs, the tequila, they take their toll.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:16 PM on June 10, 2010


WHOOOOOAAAAAAOOOOOOOH, THE TRAIN I RIDE OOONNNN

awesome. thanks, flapjax.
posted by clockzero at 10:35 PM on June 10, 2010


Previous YT HW fpp from our own y2k.
posted by mwhybark at 10:39 PM on June 10, 2010


(from that post): Howlin Wolf, Marvel comics superhero. Really.
posted by mwhybark at 10:41 PM on June 10, 2010


Sure look good, but it don't mean a thing to me.
posted by telstar at 10:56 PM on June 10, 2010


Huh. Was just listening to him. Odd, that.
posted by converge at 11:07 PM on June 10, 2010


mwhybark, I appreciate your nod to the great y2karl, and I'm embarrassed not to have made that previously nod myself: that was sloppy of me. Sorry y2karl! But... the link doesn't open for me. Let's try that again.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:33 PM on June 10, 2010


Oh, my backdoor man. Thanks Howlin Wolf, and flapjax at midnite. I'm grabbing my cd on my way out and will play it in the car today.

Good job on the name change, Chester. Who knew? Not me. I just accepted that the man's name was actually Howlin Wolf. That's how much awesome he carried.
posted by rainbaby at 4:25 AM on June 11, 2010


In the great American musical sub-genre known as Cadillac Songs Howlin' Wolf's "Highway Man (Cadillac Daddy)" is one of the best. It rolls right along on its big, heavy frame, rocking slightly with its shot suspension, but fine, proud automobile all the way.
posted by Faze at 4:34 AM on June 11, 2010


He always wrote around unusual grooves -- I've always dug that, since 3/4 & 6/8 shuffles can get repetitive. His music was a lot more innovative and original that quite a bit of his contemporaries. His awesome gravelly voice is icing on the cake. One of the greats.

Proper credit's got to be given to his guitarist Hubert Sumlin who is a phenomenon in his own right.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:22 AM on June 11, 2010


Here's Howlin' Wolf in 1966 doing Meet Me In The Bottom
posted by wabbittwax at 5:58 AM on June 11, 2010


The above is a longer clip from the same source as flapjax's clip about Son House.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:00 AM on June 11, 2010


flapjax at midnite: "Let's try that again."

D'oh! Thanks!
posted by mwhybark at 7:01 AM on June 11, 2010


Proper credit's got to be given to his guitarist Hubert Sumlin who is a phenomenon in his own right.

Most definitely. Sumlin was Wolf's main guitar man, and a hell of a wonderful guy to boot!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:07 AM on June 11, 2010


Don't boot him -- that's not nice!

/comma police
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:11 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the all time greats.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:39 PM on June 11, 2010


the men don't know but the little girls understand...

my god, I love that man - what a powerhouse. It is one of my great regrets that I never saw him perform live. (He and Fess. Sigh.)

Thank you for another great post, flapjax.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:03 PM on June 11, 2010


Saw Mr Sumlin last night at the Chicago Blues, he's still rocking (with help from his nurse). The Howlin' Wolf tribute band kicked ass on Fourty Four. That beat is so heavy, it make you soar.
posted by Bron at 6:08 PM on June 12, 2010


This morning Hidden Charms came upon shuffle
With Howlin Wolf and Hubert Sumlin as a background music, anything is possible.
posted by readery at 10:59 AM on June 13, 2010


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