January 10, 1976 Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, died.
Wolf was born June 10, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi. During the 1930s, he performed in the South with a number of blues musicians, including Robert Johnson and Son House. His first recording, “How Many More Years,” was produced in 1951 and was a hit on the Billboard R&B charts. This was followed by other hits, including “Moanin’ at Midnight” (1951) and “I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)” (1956).
His “Smokestack Lightening” (1956) is enshrined in both the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a recording of “qualitative or historical significance.” Also, his recordings “Spoonful” (1960) and “The Red Rooster” (1962) are enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Wolf’s 1962 album, “Howlin’ Wolf,” influenced many British and American bands infatuated with Chicago blues.
Wolf was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. In 1994, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor. The Howlin’ Wolf Memorial Blues Festival is held annually in West Point, Mississippi. His biography, “Moanin’ at Midnight, The Life and Times of Howlin’ Wolf,” was published in 2004.
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