ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Blues: Howlin' Wolf

Updated on December 21, 2015

Howlin' Wolf

Chester Arthur " Howlin' Wolf' Burnett was born on June 10, 1910, He was an influential American Blues singer, guitarist and harp player.

His booming voice and looming physical presence (6 feet, 6 inches tall and close to 300 pounds!) ranks him among the legendary performers in electric Blues.

A number of songs written or popularized by Burnett, including his "Smokestack Lightnin" (1956) and "Killing Floor" (1964) and Willie Dixon's "Back Door Man" (1961) and "Spoonful" (1960) quickly became Blues standards.

The Early Years

Born in White Station, Mississippi, ... he was named after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, and was nicknamed Big Foot Chester and Bull Cow in his early years because of his massive size.

He explained the origin of the name Howlin' Wolf thus: "I got that from my grandfather." His Grandfather would often tell him stories about the wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved, the howling wolves would "get him".

According to the documentary film The Howlin' Wolf Story, Howlin' Wolf's parents broke up when he was young. His very religious mother Gertrude threw him out of the house while he was still a child for refusing to work around the farm; he then moved in with his uncle, Will Young, who treated him badly.

When he was 13, he ran away and claimed to have walked 85 miles (137 km) barefoot to join his father, where he finally found a happy home within his father's large family. During the peak of his success, he returned from Chicago to his home town to see his mother again, but was driven to tears when she rebuffed him and refused to take any money he offered her, saying it was from his playing the "Devil's music". (Courtesy Wikipedia)

"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." (Cub Koda)

How Many More Years

Chess issued Howlin' Wolf's "Moanin' At Midnight" b/w "How Many More Years" on August 15, 1951

"How many more years have I got to let you dog me around

I'd soon rather be dead sleeping six feet in the ground"

Moanin' At Midnight was Howlin' Wolf's first big hit, followed by the flip side, Moanin' at Midnight, Smokestack Lightning and I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)....SO...

How Many More Years?

"I couldn't do no yodelin', so I turned to howlin'."

Moanin' at Midnight

Another smash hit from the "Moanin' at Midnight' release, Howlin' Wolf's first album.

And then, for something completely different.... it's Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company with some awesome rock and roll...

Who says the Blues didn't give birth to rock and roll?

Miss you, Janice...

Moanin' At Midnight Lyrics

Howlin' Wolf

Well, somebody knocking on my door

Well, somebody knocking on my door

Well, I'm so worried, don't know where to go

Well, somebody calling me, calling on my telephone

[ From:]

Well, somebody calling me, over my telephone

Well, keep on calling, tell them I'm not at home


Well, don't not worry, Daddy's gone to bed

Men lied about that ---

Some of them cried about that ---

Some of them died about that ---

But everything fightin' about a spoonful

That spoon, that spoon, that ---


Smokestack Lightning - original and instrumental - Howlin' Wolf, Tom & Jerry

I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)

Who do you love? if anyone could pick just one...

Who is your favorite electric Blues artist?

See results

Little Red Rooster

This performance is from the original Chess release. There are a good many more available, but I like this one....

Because I like to provide contrast whenever I can, I've included Jim Morrison's (The Doors) version of Little Red Rooster. I like it because Morrison resisted the temptation to rock& roll and remained true to the song's roots - Hope you like it!

"Well I'll be around, yes I'll be around To see what you're puttin' down"

I'll Be Around - Chess Release

I'll Be Around Lyrics

Howlin' Wolf

"I'll Be Around"

(Chester Burnett a.k.a. Howlin' Wolf)

Send "I'll Be Around" Ringtone to your Cell

Well I'll be around to see ya baby

Well I'll be around no matter what you say

I'll be around, yes I'll be around

To see what you're puttin' down

You know you told me that you loved me

You know you told me and I hope it's true

Well I'll be around, yes I'll be around

To see what you're puttin' down

You know I called you in the morning

You know I called you darling to come back to the Wolf

But I'll be around, yes I'll be around

To see what you're puttin' down

You know I loved you for myself

You know I love you, I don't love nobody else

Well, I'll be around, I'll be around

I don't want you runnin' around

Who´s Been Talking?

Which song turned your crank?

Which song is your favorite?

See results

“It’s the kind of music that is going to change the world..."

Howlin' Wolf on the Web

"You know, they called us 'coons'-said we didn't have no sense.

You gonna wake up one morning, and a coon's gonna be the President."

-"Coon on the Moon" from The Back Door Wolf, recorded in 1973

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • CampingmanNW profile image


      5 years ago

      Gone but NOT forgotten for sure

    • Nightcat profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome thanks so much for all the hard work and sharing Wolf with us. :)

    • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

      hughgrissettsr lm 

      7 years ago

      great lens! in my opinion, one of the top 5 all time electric blues artists! i have his chess box set and luv it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)