Few if any figures in blues loom as large as Howlin’ Wolf, yet there’s been a sad lack of footage of this staggering man. This director’s cut from the When the Sun Goes Down-The Secret History of Rock & Roll series is packed with never-before-seen live footage, rare Shindig footage presented by Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, interviews with bandmates and family and more. An absolute must for music-history and blues fans.
Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), known as Howlin’ Wolf, was 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.” Producer Sam Phillips recalled, “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf, I said, ‘This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.'” Several of his songs, including “Smokestack Lightnin'”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”, have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
We like cover versions here at Borntolisten.com, and here are some really great examples. They are not better than the originals, but they are different and they are good.
Rachael Sage & Judy Collins perform Neil Young’s Helpless. As appearing on Rachael Sage’s album Blue Roses and Judy Collins’ collection The Very Best of Judy Collins . Filmed at Steinway Hall in New York City:
The Stones were back on stage for what was their biggest show in the UK since the Hyde Park concert of 1969 in August 1976, and it was in front of their biggest paying crowd ever…somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people.
One of the highlights for me was the performance of Willie Dixon’s Little Red Rooster, Rolling Stones does a version that is very close to Howling Wolf’s interpretation of the song. Slow and heavy Chicago blues with a fantastic groove.
Ringo was a star in his own right in Liverpool before we even met. Ringo was a professional drummer who sang and performed and was in one of the top groups in Britain, but especially in Liverpool. So Ringo’s talent would have come out one way or the other … whatever that spark is in Ringo, we all know it but can’t put our finger on it. Whether it’s acting, drumming, or singing, I don’t know. There’s something in him that is projectable and he would have surfaced as an individual … Ringo is a damn good drummer.
~John Lennon (Sept 1980)
Beatles accept award Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 1988:
I got to know Nanci Griffith through the seminal music paper Beat (norwegian music magazine), this music magazine has been extremely important in my musical upbringing. They made it ok to say that you loved country music. This was a big step for us rock/punk youth. Anyway, they praised Nanci Griffith very early and we listened and we agreed, this was very special indeed.
Her voice, her way of singing, especially other people’s’ songs, it was and is beautiful. My first entry into her world was John Prine’s The Speed of The Sound of Loneliness, it is still the best song in her catalogue. Hell, it would be the best song in almost anybody’s catalogue!
Speed of the sound of Loneliness (with John Prine who wrote this masterpiece):
Nanci Griffith, (born Nanci Caroline Griffith, July 6, 1953, Seguin, Texas) is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Austin, Texas.
Straddling the fine line between folk and country music, Nanci Griffith has become as well-known for her brilliant, confessional songwriting as her beautiful voice. A self-styled “folkabilly” singer, Griffith began as a kindergarten teacher and occasional folksinger. The country scene took her to heart in the mid-’80s, giving her a reputation as a quality songwriter through hit covers of Griffith’s songs by Kathy Mattea and Suzy Bogguss. Finding no luck with commercial country radio however, Griffith recorded several pop-oriented albums and then returned to her folk roots by the mid-’90s.
-John Bush (allmusic.com)