Posts Tagged ‘Howlin Wolf’

Growing up around the Mississippi Delta blues, Chester Burnett cut an imposing figure at well over 6 feet tall and somewhere around 300 pounds. After finding success in Memphis with help from Sam Phillips, he moved to Chicago in the ‘50s to team up with Chess brothers, with guitarist Hubert Sumlin following him. His debut album, Moanin’ in the Moonlight, highlighted his rough and raw vocals and intimidating persona, with backing from legends like Willie Dixon and Otis Spann, as well as a young Ike Turner who played piano on “How Many More Years.” But the standout track is still “Smokestack Lightning,” with its hypnotic riffs and the Wolf’s high-pitched bawling.

Moanin’ in the Moonlight was the debut album by American blues singer Howlin’ Wolf. The album was a compilation of previously issued singles by Chess Records. It was originally released by Chess Records as a mono-format LP record in 1959 (see 1959 in music). The album has been reissued several times, including a vinyl reissue in 1969, with the playing order changed, titled Evil. The two earliest songs onMoanin’ in the Moonlightwere “Moanin’ at Midnight” and “How Many More Years”. These two songs and ‘All Night Boogie’, were recorded in Memphis, the first two at Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee in July 1951, and, ‘All Night Boogie’, the last track on side one, in Memphis in 1953.

“How Many More Years” (recorded May 1951, unissued at the time, but later issued by Bear Family cited as the first record to feature a distorted power chord, played by Willie Johnson on the electric guitar.

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