Label: Fan Club - FC 91 CD • Format: 2x, CD Compilation • Country: France • Genre: Blues • Style: Chicago Blues
Chester Arthur Burnett June 10, — January 10,known as Howlin' Wolfwas a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. The musician and critic Cub Koda noted, "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.
This is where the soul of man never dies. He was given the name Chester Arthur, after Chester A. Arthurthe 21st President of the United States. He explained the origin of the name Howlin' Wolf: "I got that from my grandfather", who would Poor Boy - Howlin Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door him stories about wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved the "howling wolves" would get him.
The blues historian Paul Oliver wrote that Burnett once claimed to have been given his nickname by his idol Jimmie Rodgers. Burnett's parents separated when he was only a year old. His mother, Gertrude, threw him out of the house when he was a child for refusing to work on the farm. He then moved in with his uncle, Will Young, who treated him badly. At the peak of his success, he returned from Chicago to see his mother in Mississippi and was driven to tears when she rebuffed him: she refused to take money offered by him, saying it was from his playing the "devil's music".
InBurnett met Charlie Pattonthe most popular bluesman in the Mississippi Delta at the time. He would listen to Patton play nightly from outside a nearby juke joint. The two became acquainted, and soon Patton was teaching him guitar. Burnett recalled that "the first piece I ever played in my life was He played with Patton often in small Delta communities. The country singer Jimmie Rodgers was also an influence. Burnett tried to emulate Rodgers's "blue yodel " but Poor Boy - Howlin Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door that his efforts sounded more like a growl or a howl: "I couldn't do no yodelin', so I turned to howlin'.
And it's done me just fine". By the end of the decade, he was a fixture in clubs, with a harmonica and an early Dumb - Garbage - Version 2.0 guitar. On April 9,he was inducted into the U. Army and was stationed at several bases around the country. Finding it difficult to adjust to military life, he was discharged on November 3, He returned to his family, who had recently moved near West Memphis, Arkansasand helped with the farming while also performing, as he had done in the s, with Floyd Jones and others.
In he formed a band, which included the guitarists Willie Johnson and Matt "Guitar" Murphythe harmonica player Junior Parkera pianist remembered only as "Destruction" and the drummer Willie Steele.
His eyes would light up, you'd see the veins come out on his neck and, buddy, there was nothing on his mind but that song. He sang with his damn soul. Within a year he had persuaded the guitarist Hubert Sumlin to leave Memphis and join him in Chicago; Sumlin's understated solos and surprisingly subtle phrasing perfectly complemented Burnett's huge voice. The lineup of the Howlin' Wolf band changed often over the years. He employed many different guitarists, both on recordings and in live performance, including Willie Johnson, Jody Williams, Lee CooperL.
Burnett was able to attract some of the best musicians available because of his policy, unusual among bandleaders, of paying his musicians well and on time, even including unemployment insurance and Social Security contributions. Howlin' Wolf had a series of hits with songs written by Willie Dixonwho had been hired by the Chess brothers in as a songwriter, and during that period the competition between Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf was intense.
Dixon reported "Every once in a while Wolf would mention the fact that, 'Hey man, you wrote that song for Muddy. How come you won't write me one like that? As was standard practice in that era, Poor Boy - Howlin Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door was a collection of previously released singles. Several became part of the repertoires of British and American rock groups, who further popularized them.
Howlin' Wolf's second compilation album, Lingering On - James Last - International Hits Wolf often called "the rocking chair album", from its cover illustrationwas released in During the blues revival in the s and s, black blues musicians found a new audience among white youths, and Howlin' Wolf was among the first to capitalize on it.
Inhe appeared on the popular television program Shindig! The album had an Just For The Night - Various - Action Funk cover: large black letters on a white background proclaiming "This is Howlin' Wolf's new album. He doesn't like it. He didn't like his electric guitar at first either.
Chess co-founder Leonard Chess admitted that the cover was Poor Boy - Howlin Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door bad idea, saying, "I guess negativity isn't a good way to sell records. Who wants to hear that a musician doesn't like his own music? Wolf's last album was 's The Back Door Wolf.
The album is shorter a little more than 35 minutes than any other he recorded, as a result of his declining health. Unlike many other blues musicians who left an impoverished childhood to begin a musical career, Burnett was always financially successful. Although functionally illiterate into his forties, Burnett eventually returned to school, first to earn a General Educational Development GED diploma and later to study accounting and other business courses to help manage his career.
Burnett met his future wife, Lillie, when she attended one of his performances at a Chicago club. She and her family were urban and educated and were not involved in what was considered the unsavory world of blues musicians.
Nevertheless, he was attracted to her as soon as he saw her in the audience. He immediately pursued her and won her over. According to those who knew them, the couple remained deeply in love until his death. Together, they raised Betty and Barbara, Lillie's daughters from an earlier relationship. After he married Lillie, who was able to manage his professional finances, Burnett was so financially successful that he was able to offer band members not only a decent salary but benefits such as health insurance; this enabled him to hire his pick of available musicians and keep his band one of the best around.
According to his stepdaughters, he was never financially extravagant for instance, he drove a Pontiac station wagon rather than a more expensive, flashy car. Burnett's health began declining in the late s. He had several heart attacks and suffered bruised kidneys in a car accident in Concerned for his health, the bandleader Eddie Shaw limited him to performing 21 songs per concert.
He died of complications from the procedure on January 10,at the age of He was buried in Oakridge Cemeteryoutside Chicago, in a plot in Section 18, on the east side of the road. His gravestone has an image of a guitar and harmonica etched into it. A Howlin' Wolf recording of "Smokestack Lightning" was selected for a Grammy Hall of Fame Awardan award established in to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and have "qualitative or historical significance".
On September 17,the U,S. Postal Service issued a cent commemorative postage stamp depicting Howlin' Wolf. The Howlin' Wolf Foundation, a nonprofit corporation organized under the US tax code, section c 3was established by Bettye Kelly to preserve and extend Howlin' Wolf's legacy. The foundation's mission and goals include the preservation of the blues music genre, scholarships to enable students to participate in Spoons - Rudimental - Home programs, and support for blues musicians and blues programs.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Chester A. American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. For the American football player, see Chester Burnett American football. For the Cheyenne artist, see Howling Wolf Cheyenne.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged Poor Boy - Howlin Wolf - The Wolf Is At Your Door removed. RPM Chess. Retrieved April 17, Rolling Stone Retrieved July 26, Retrieved January 30, Rolling Stone.
Archived from the original on January 9, The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, Simon and Schuster — via Google Books. The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on July 7, Exhibit Highlights. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on May 2, The Blues Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, Howlin' Wolf Foundation.
Archived from the original on February 20, Howlin' Wolf. Chicago blues Delta blues Chess Records. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — Class of Dave Bartholomew Ralph Bass.
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