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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".
Performing in 1972
|Birth name||Chester Arthur Burnett|
|Born||June 10, 1910|
White Station, Mississippi
|Died||January 10, 1976 (aged 65)|
Burnett was born on June 10, 1910, in White Station, Mississippi, near West Point. He was given the name Chester Arthur, after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. His physique garnered him the nicknames "Big Foot Chester" and "Bull Cow" as a young man: he was 6 feet 3 inches (191 cm) tall and often weighed close to 300 pounds (136 kg). He explained the origin of the name Howlin' Wolf: "I got that from my grandfather", who would tell 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. When he was thirteen, he ran away and claimed to have walked 85 miles (137 km) barefoot to join his father, where he finally found a happy home with his father's large family. 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".
1930s and 1940sEdit
In 1930, Burnett met Charlie Patton, the most popular bluesman in the Mississippi Delta at the time. He would listen to Patton play nightly from outside a nearby juke joint. There he remembered Patton playing "Pony Blues", "High Water Everywhere", "A Spoonful Blues", and "Banty Rooster Blues". The two became acquainted, and soon Patton was teaching him guitar. Burnett recalled that "the first piece I ever played in my life was ... a tune about hook up my pony and saddle up my black mare"—Patton's "Pony Blues". He also learned about showmanship from Patton: "When he played his guitar, he would turn it over backwards and forwards, and throw it around over his shoulders, between his legs, throw it up in the sky". Burnett would perform the guitar tricks he learned from Patton for the rest of his life. He played with Patton often in small Delta communities.
Burnett was influenced by other popular blues performers of the time, including the Mississippi Sheiks, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Ma Rainey, Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red, Blind Blake, and Tommy Johnson. Two of the earliest songs he mastered were Jefferson's "Match Box Blues" and Leroy Carr's "How Long, How Long Blues". The country singer Jimmie Rodgers was also an influence. Burnett tried to emulate Rodgers's "blue yodel" but found 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". His harmonica playing was modeled after that of Sonny Boy Williamson II, who taught him how to play when Burnett moved to Parkin, Arkansas, in 1933.
During the 1930s, Burnett performed in the South as a solo performer and with numerous blues musicians, including Floyd Jones, Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Johnson, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Willie Brown, Son House and Willie Johnson. By the end of the decade, he was a fixture in clubs, with a harmonica and an early electric guitar.
On April 9, 1941, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and was stationed at several bases around the country. Finding it difficult to adjust to military life, he was discharged on November 3, 1943. He returned to his family, who had recently moved near West Memphis, Arkansas, and helped with the farming while also performing, as he had done in the 1930s, with Floyd Jones and others. In 1948 he formed a band, which included the guitarists Willie Johnson and Matt "Guitar" Murphy, the harmonica player Junior Parker, a pianist remembered only as "Destruction" and the drummer Willie Steele. Radio station KWEM in West Memphis began broadcasting his live performances, and he occasionally sat in with Williamson on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas.
In 1951, Howlin' Wolf was discovered by A&R man Ike Turner who had him record several songs for both Sam Phillips at Sun Records (which licensed its recordings to Chess Records) and the Bihari brothers at Modern Records. Phillips praised his singing, saying, "God, what it would be worth on film to see the fervour in that man's face when he sang. 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." Howlin' Wolf quickly became a local celebrity and began working with a band that included the guitarists Willie Johnson and Pat Hare. His first singles were issued by two different record companies in 1951: "How Many More Years" backed with "Moaning at Midnight", released by Chess Records, and "Riding in the Moonlight" backed with "Moaning at Midnight", released by RPM Records. Later, Leonard Chess was able to secure his contract, and Howlin' Wolf relocated to Chicago in 1952. There he assembled a new band and recruited the Chicagoan Jody Williams from Memphis Slim's band as his first guitarist. 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 Cooper, L.D. McGhee, Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers, his brother Little Smokey Smothers, Jimmy Rogers, Freddie Robinson, and Buddy Guy, among others. 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. With the exception of a couple of brief absences in the late 1950s, Sumlin remained a member of the band for the rest of Howlin' Wolf's career and is the guitarist most often associated with the Chicago Howlin' Wolf sound.
Howlin' Wolf had a series of hits with songs written by Willie Dixon, who had been hired by the Chess brothers in 1950 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?' But when you'd write for him he wouldn't like it." So, Dixon decided to use reverse psychology on him, by introducing the songs to Wolf as written for Muddy, thus inducing Wolf to accept them.
In the 1950s, Howlin' Wolf had five songs on the Billboard national R&B charts: "Moanin' at Midnight", "How Many More Years", "Who Will Be Next", "Smokestack Lightning", and "I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)". His first LP, Moanin' in the Moonlight, was released in 1959. As was standard practice in that era, it was a collection of previously released singles.
1960s and 1970sEdit
In the early 1960s, Howlin' Wolf recorded several songs that became his most famous, despite receiving no radio play: "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", many of which were written by Willie Dixon. Several became part of the repertoires of British and American rock groups, who further popularized them. Howlin' Wolf's second compilation album, Howlin' Wolf (often called "the rocking chair album", from its cover illustration), was released in 1962.
During the blues revival in the 1950s and 1960s, black blues musicians found a new audience among white youths, and Howlin' Wolf was among the first to capitalize on it. He toured Europe in 1964 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival, produced by the German promoters Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau. In 1965, he appeared on the popular television program Shindig! at the insistence of the Rolling Stones, whose recording of "Little Red Rooster" had reached number one in the UK in 1964. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Howlin' Wolf recorded albums with others, including The Super Super Blues Band, with Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters; The Howlin' Wolf Album, with psychedelic rock and free-jazz musicians like Gene Barge, Pete Cosey, Roland Faulkner, Morris Jennings, Louis Satterfield, Charles Stepney and Phil Upchurch; and The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, accompanied by the British rock musicians Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and others.
The Howlin' Wolf Album, like rival bluesman Muddy Waters's album Electric Mud, was designed to appeal to the hippie audience. The album had an attention-getting 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." The album cover may have contributed to its poor sales. Chess co-founder Leonard Chess admitted that the cover was a 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?"
The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, like Muddy Waters's London album, proved more successful with British audiences than American.
Wolf's last album was 1973's The Back Door Wolf. Entirely composed of new material, it was recorded with musicians who regularly backed him on stage, including Hubert Sumlin, Detroit Junior, Chico Chism, Lafayette "Shorty" Gilbert and the bandleader Eddie Shaw. 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. Having already achieved a measure of success in Memphis, he described himself as "the onliest one to drive himself up from the Delta" to Chicago, which he did, in his own car on the Blues Highway and with $4,000 in his pocket, a rare distinction for a black bluesman of the time. 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 1960s. He had several heart attacks and suffered bruised kidneys in a car accident in 1970. Concerned for his health, the bandleader Eddie Shaw limited him to performing 21 songs per concert.
In January 1976, Burnett checked into the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Illinois, for kidney surgery. He died of complications from the procedure on January 10, 1976, at the age of 65. He was buried in Oakridge Cemetery, outside 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.
Selected awards and recognitionEdit
Grammy Hall of FameEdit
A Howlin' Wolf recording of "Smokestack Lightning" was selected for a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, an award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and have "qualitative or historical significance".
|Howlin' Wolf Grammy Award history|
|1956||"Smokestack Lightning"||Blues (Single)||Chess||1999|
Rock and Roll Hall of FameEdit
|1961||"The Red Rooster"|
The Blues Foundation AwardsEdit
|Howlin' Wolf: Blues Music Awards|
|2004||Historical Blues Album of the Year||The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions||Nominated|
|1995||Reissue Album of the Year||Ain't Gonna Be Your Dog||Nominated|
|1992||Vintage or Reissue Blues Album—US or Foreign||The Chess Box—Howlin' Wolf||Winner|
|1990||Vintage/Reissue (Foreign)||Memphis Days||Nominated|
|1989||Vintage/Reissue Album (US)||Cadillac Daddy||Nominated|
|1988||Vintage/Reissue Album (Foreign)||Killing Floor: Masterworks Vol. 5||Winner|
|1987||Vintage/Reissue Album (US)||Moanin' in the Moonlight||Winner|
|1981||Vintage or Reissue Album (Foreign)||More Real Folk Blues||Nominated|
Honors and inductionsEdit
On September 17, 1994, the U,S. Postal Service issued a 29-cent commemorative postage stamp depicting Howlin' Wolf.
|Howlin' Wolf inductions|
|2003||Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame||Inducted|
|1991||Rock and Roll Hall of Fame||Inducted||Early influences|
|1980||Blues Hall of Fame||Inducted|
|2012||Memphis Music Hall of Fame||Inducted||Inaugural class|
Howlin' Wolf FoundationEdit
The Howlin' Wolf Foundation, a nonprofit corporation organized under the US tax code, section 501(c)(3), was 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 music programs, and support for blues musicians and blues programs.
|Year||Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
|1951||"How Many More Years" /||4||Moanin' in the Moonlight|
|"Moanin' at Midnight"||10|
|"Riding in the Moonlight"
b/w "Morning at Midnight"
|Howling Wolf Sings the Blues|
|"Passing By Blues"
b/w "Crying at Daybreak" (from Howling Wolf Sings the Blues)
|1952||"The Wolf Is at Your Door"
b/w "Howlin' Wolf Boogie"
|"My Baby Stole Off"
b/w "I Want Your Picture"
|"Gettin' Old and Grey"
b/w "Mr. Highway Man"
|"Saddle My Pony"
b/w "Worried All the Time"
b/w "My Last Affair"
|"All Night Boogie"
b/w "I Love My Baby" (from More Real Folk Blues)
|Moanin' in the Moonlight|
|1954||"No Place to Go"
b/w "Rockin' Daddy" (from More Real Folk Blues)
|"Baby How Long"
b/w "Evil Is Goin' On"
|"I'll Be Around"
b/w "Forty Four" (from Moanin' in the Moonlight)
|More Real Folk Blues|
|1955||"Who Will Be Next"
b/w "I Have a Little Girl"
|"Come to Me Baby"
b/w "Don't Mess with My Baby"
b/w "You Can't Be Beat" (from More Real Folk Blues)
|8||Moanin' in the Moonlight|
|"I Asked for Water"
b/w "So Glad" (non-album track)
|1957||"Going Back Home"
b/w "My Life"
|"Somebody in My Home"
b/w "Nature" (from The Real Folk Blues)
|Moanin' in the Moonlight|
|1958||"Sitting on Top of the World"
b/w "Poor Boy"
|The Real Folk Blues|
|"I Didn't Know"
b/w "Moanin' for My Baby" (from Moanin' in the Moonlight)
|Change My Way|
|"I'm Leaving You"
b/w "Change My Way" (from Change My Way)
|Moanin' in the Moonlight|
|1959||"I Better Go Now"
b/w "Howlin' Blues"
|Change My Way|
|"I've Been Abused"
b/w "Mr. Airplane Man"
|"The Natchez Burning"
b/w "You Gonna Wreck My Life" (from More Real Folk Blues)
|The Real Folk Blues|
b/w "Who's Been Talking"
b/w "Howlin' for My Darling"
b/w "Back Door Man"
|"Down in the Bottom"
b/w "Little Baby"
|"The Red Rooster"
b/w "Shake for Me"
|1962||"You'll Be Mine"
b/w "Goin' Down Slow"
|"I Ain't Superstitious"
b/w "Just Like I Treat You"
|Change My Way|
b/w "Do the Do" (from Change My Way)
|1963||"Three Hundred Pounds of Joy"
b/w "Built for Comfort"
|The Real Folk Blues|
b/w "Tail Dragger" (from The Real Folk Blues)
|Change My Way|
|"My Country Sugar Mama"
b/w "Love Me Darling" (from Change My Way)
|The Real Folk Blues|
b/w "Killing Floor"
|"Tell Me What I've Done"
b/w "Ooh Baby"
|"Don't Laugh at Me"
b/w "I Walked from Dallas"
|Change My Way|
|1966||"New Crawling King Snake"
b/w "My Mind Is Ramblin'"
|1967||"Pop It to Me"
b/w "I Had a Dream"
b/w "Tail Dragger"
|43||The Howlin' Wolf Album|
b/w "Hard Luck"
|1971||"I Smell a Rat"
b/w "Just As Long"
|Message to the Young|
|1973||"Coon on the Moon"
b/w "The Back Door Wolf"
|The Back Door Wolf|
- 1959: Moanin' in the Moonlight
- 1962: Howlin' Wolf Sings the Blues
- 1962: Howlin' Wolf
- 1966: The Real Folk Blues
- 1966: The Super Super Blues Band
- 1967: More Real Folk Blues
- 1969: The Howlin' Wolf Album
- 1969: Evil
- 1971: Message to the Young
- 1971: The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions
- 1972: Chester Burnett a/k/a/ Howlin' Wolf
- 1972: Live and Cookin' at Alice's Revisited
- 1973: The Back Door Wolf
- 1974: London Revisited
- 1974: Muddy & the Wolf
- 1975: Change My Way
- 1984: All Night Boogie
- 1984: His Greatest Sides, Vol. One
- 1991: Howlin' Wolf – The Chess Box
- 1991: Howlin' Wolf Rides Again
- 1994: Ain't Gonna Be Your Dog: Chess Collectibles, Vol. 2
- 1997: His Best
|Baby Ride with Me||Early 1951||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Audition session|
|Ridin' in the Moonlight||Early 1951||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Audition session|
|Baby Ride with Me (Ridin' in the Moonlight)||1951-14-05||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|How Many More Years||1951-14-05||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|How Many More Years||1951-00-07||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1479|
|Moanin' at Midnight||1951-00-07||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1479|
|Baby Ride with Me (Ridin' in the Moonlight)||1951-00-09||KWEM||West Memphis, AK||RPM 333|
|Dog Me Around||1951-00-09||KWEM||West Memphis, AK|
|Morning at Midnight||1951-00-09||KWEM||West Memphis, AK||RPM 333|
|Keep What You Got||1951-00-09||KWEM||West Memphis, AK|
|Passing By Blues||1951-10-02||Private home||West Memphis, AK||RPM 340|
|Crying at Daybreak||1951-10-02||Private home||West Memphis, AK||RPM 340|
|My Baby Stole Off||1951-10-02||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|I Want Your Picture||1951-10-02||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|Howlin' Wolf Boogie||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1497|
|California Blues #1||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|California Boogie||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Look-a-Here Baby||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|The Wolf Is at Your Door (Howlin' for My Baby)||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1497|
|Smile at Me||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Worried All the Time||1951-12-18||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1515|
|Mr. Highway Man (Cadillac Daddy)||1952-01-23||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1510|
|My Troubles and Me||1952-01-23||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Getting Old and Grey||1952-01-23||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1510|
|My Baby Walked Off||1952-01-23||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Chocolate Drop||1952-01-23||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|House Rockin' Boogie||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|Brown Skin Woman||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|Worried About My Baby||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|Driving This Highway||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|The Sun Is Rising||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|My Friends||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|I'm the Wolf||1952-02-12||Private home||West Memphis, AK|
|Everybody's in the Mood (All in the Mood)||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Color and Kind||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Bluebird||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Saddle My Pony||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1515|
|Dorothy Mae||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Sweet Woman (I've Got a Woman)||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|(Well) That's All Right||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Decoration Day||1952-04-17||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Oh Red||1952-10-07||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1528|
|My Last Affair||1952-10-07||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Chess 1528|
|Come Back Home||1952-10-07||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|Drinkin' C.V. Wine Blues||1952-10-07||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN|
|I've Got a Woman||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-09-24|
|Just My Kind||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-09-24|
|Work for Your Money||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-09-24|
|I'm Not Joking||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-09-24|
|Mama Died and Left Me||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-09-24|
|Highway My Friend||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|Hold Your Money||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|Streamline Woman||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|California Blues #2||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|Stay Here Till My Baby Comes Back||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|Crazy About You Baby||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|All Night Boogie||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|I Love My Baby||1953||Memphis Recording Service||Memphis, TN||Mastered on 1953-10-28|
|No Place to Go||1954-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1566|
|You Gonna Wreck My Life||1954-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1744|
|Neighbors||1954-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I'm the Wolf||1954-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Rockin' Daddy||1954-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1566|
|Baby How Long||1954-05-25||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1575|
|Evil||1954-05-25||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1575|
|I'll Be Around||1954-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1584|
|Forty Four||1954-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1584|
|Who Will Be Next||1955-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1593|
|I Have a Little Girl||1955-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1593|
|Come to Me Baby||1955-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1607|
|Don't Mess with My Baby||1955-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1607|
|Smokestack Lightning||1956-01||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1618|
|You Can't Be Beat||1956-01||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1618|
|I Asked for Water||1956-07-19||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1632|
|So Glad||1956-07-19||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1632|
|Break of Day||1956-07-19||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|The Natchez Burnin'||1956-07-19||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1744|
|Going Back Home||1956-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1648|
|Bluebird||1956-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|My Life||1956-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1648|
|You Ought to Know||1956-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Who's Been Talking?||1957-06-24||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1750|
|Tell Me||1957-06-24||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1750|
|Somebody in My Home||1957-06-24||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1668|
|Nature||1957-06-24||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1668|
|Walk to Camp Hall||1957-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Poor Boy||1957-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1679|
|My Baby Told Me||1957-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Sittin' on Top of the World||1957-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1679|
|I Didn't Know||1958-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Howlin' Blues (I'm Going Away)||1958-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1726|
|I Better Go Now||1958-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1726|
|I Didn't Know (rerecorded)||1958-04-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1695|
|Moaning for My Baby||1958-04-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1695|
|Midnight Blues||1958-04-03||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I'm Leavin' You||1958-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1712|
|You Can't Put Me Out||1958-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Change My Way||1958-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1712|
|Getting Late||1958-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I've Been Abused||1959-07||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1735|
|Howlin' for My Darling||1959-07||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1762|
|My People's Gone||1959-07||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Mr. Airplane Man||1959-07||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1735|
|Wolf in the Mood||1959-07||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Wang Dang Doodle||1960-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1777|
|Back Door Man||1960-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1777|
|Spoonful||1960-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1762|
|Down in the Bottom||1961-05||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1793|
|Little Baby||1961-05||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1793|
|Shake for Me||1961-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1804|
|The Red Rooster||1961-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1804|
|You'll Be Mine||1961-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1813|
|Just Like I Treat You||1961-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1823|
|I Ain't Superstitious||1961-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1823|
|Goin' Down Slow||1961-12||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1813|
|Mama's Baby||1962-09-27,28||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1844|
|Do the Do||1962-09-27,28||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1844|
|Tail Dragger||1962-09-27,28||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1890|
|Long Green Stuff||1962-09-27,28||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Hidden Charms||1963-08-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1890|
|Three Hundred Pounds of Joy||1963-08-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1870|
|Joy to My Soul||1963-08-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Built for Comfort||1963-08-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1870|
|Love Me Darlin'||1964-08||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1911|
|Killing Floor||1964-08||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1923|
|My Country Sugar Mama||1964-08||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1911|
|Louise||1964-08||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1923|
|I Walked from Dallas||1965-04-15||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1945|
|Tell Me What I've Done||1965-04-15||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1928|
|Don't Laugh at Me||1965-04-15||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1945|
|Ooh Baby||1965-04-15||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1928|
|Poor Wind That Never Change||1966-04-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|New Crawlin' King Snake||1966-04-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1968|
|My Mind Is Ramblin'||1966-04-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 1968|
|Commit a Crime||1966-04-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Pop It to Me||1967-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 2009|
|I Had a Dream||1967-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 2009|
|Dust My Broom||1967-06||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Long Distance Call||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Ooh Baby/Wrecking My Love Life||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Sweet Little Angel||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Spoonful||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Diddley Daddy||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|The Red Rooster||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Goin' Down Slow||1967-09||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Spoonful||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Tail Dragger||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Smokestack Lightnin'||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Moanin' at Midnight||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Built for Comfort||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|The Red Rooster||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Evil||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Down in the Bottom||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Three Hundred Pounds of Joy||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Back Door Man||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I'm the Wolf||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Rollin' and Tumblin'||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Howlin Wolf interview||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I Ain't Gonna Be Your Dog No More||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Woke Up This Morning||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Ain't Going Down That Dirt Road||1968-11||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Mary Sue||1969-07-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 2081|
|Hard Luck||1969-07-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL||Chess 2081|
|The Big House||1969-07-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Tired of Crying||1969-07-14||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I Want to Have a Word with You||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Goin' Down Slow||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|I Ain't Superstitious||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Rockin' Daddy||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Poor Boy||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Wang Dang Doodle||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Sittin' on Top of the World||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Do the Do||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Highway 49||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Commit a Crime||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Worried About My Baby||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Built for Comfort||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Who's Been Talking?||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|The Red Rooster||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|Killing Floor||1970-05-02 through 07||Olympic Studios||London|
|If I Were a Bird||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Message||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|I Smell a Rat||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Miss James||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Message to the Young||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|She's Looking Good||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Just As Long||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Romance Without Finance||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Turn Me On||1971-10||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Moving||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Coon on the Moon||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Speak Now Woman||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Trying to Forget You||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Stop Using Me||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Leave Here Walking||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|The Back Door Wolf||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|You Turn Slick on Me||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Watergate Blues||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
|Can't Stay Here||1973-08-14,17||Chess Studios||Chicago, IL|
- Koda, Cub. "Howlin' Wolf – Artist Biography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- The Howlin' Wolf Story – The Secret History of Rock & Roll.
- "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Rolling Stone (946). 2004. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
- Oliver 1969, p. 150.
- Segrest 2004, p. 19.
- Segrest 2004, p. 20.
- Gifford, Barry (1968). "Couldn't Do No Yodeling, So I Turned to Howlin'." Rolling Stone, August 24, 1968.
- "Howlin' Wolf – Sun Record Company". Sunrecords.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Howlin' Wolf Bio". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015.
- Humphrey 2007.
- Hoffman 2012.
- Whitburn 1988, pp. 197–198.
- Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- Howlin' Wolf at Find a Grave
- "Grammy Hall of Fame Awards". The Recording Academy. 1999. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Exhibit Highlights. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 1995. Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "Awards Search". The Blues Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "Mission & Goal". Howlinwolffoundation.org. Howlin' Wolf Foundation. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- Segrest 2004, Sessionography
- Hoffman, Mark (July 18, 2012). "Howlin' Wolf Biography, Part 2". Howlin' Wolf site. Howlin' Wolf Productions. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- Humphrey, Mark (2007). The Definitive Collection (liner notes). Howlin' Wolf. Geffen Records/Chess Records. B0008784-02/CHD-9375 BK02.
- McGlynn, Don (2003). The Howlin' Wolf Story – The Secret History of Rock & Roll (DVD). Bluebird/Arista. 82876-56631-9.
- Oliver, Paul (1969). The Story of the Blues. Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 3-85445-092-3.
- Segrest, James; Hoffman, Mark (2004). Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42246-3.
- Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Record Research. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.