Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 10th January!
On the 10th January 1976, one of the most outstanding musicians of the Blues genre passed away: Mr. Chester Arthur Burnett, better known as Howlin‘ Wolf, died at the age of 66. Born on the 10th June 1910 in White Station Mississippi (USA), he lived together with his mother and uncle Will, who treated him badly. At the age of 13, he ran away from home and started to search for his father. After a 85 miles barefoot walk he found him and became a full family member.
In the thirties he crossed paths with Blues man Charlie Patton, who taught him playing the guitar and Howlin‘ Wolf started to perform as a solo artist. He also worked and recorded with musicians like Floyd Jones, Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Johnson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Willie Brown, Son House and Willie Johnson. In 1948 he founded his own band featuring the guitarists Willie Johnson and Matt „Guitar“ Murphy, Junior Parker on harmonica and Willie Steele on drums. The trademark of the sound was Howlin‘ Wolf’s unique voice and the local radio station KWEM in West Memphis began broadcasting the live performances.
In 1951 the first singles were released: „How Many More Years“ with „Moaning at Midnight“ on the flip side (by Chess Records) and „Riding in the Moonlight“ backed with „Moaning at Midnight“ (by RPM Records). One year later, Howlin‘ Wolf was signed only by Chess Records and the Blues man moved to Chicago. More singles followed and in 1959 his debut album „Moanin‘ in the Moonlight“ was released.
In the sixties the Blues classics „Wang Dang Doodle„, „Back Door Man“, „Spoonful“, „The Red Rooster“ (later known as „Little Red Rooster„), „I Ain’t Superstitious„, „Goin‘ Down Slow“ and „Killing Floor“ hit the market and Howlin‘ Wolf became a very famous musician not only on the Blues scene. In 1964 he toured Europe – in the same year, The Rolling Stones reached number one in UK with their version of „Little Red Rooster„. Howlin‘ Wolf continued recording and perfroming – and he worked with many musicians all around the world, like Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. In 1973 his last album „The Back Door Wolf“ for Chess Reccords was released. In the seventies Howlin‘ Wolf suffered several heart attacks and on the 10th January 1976 he died due to complications of kidney disease. He passed away at the age of 66.
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