TUESDAY TUNES | HOWLIN WOLF | SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING ’64

Posted on May 26, 2015 by Trace

T U E S D A Y  T U N E S
This humdinger

SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING
H O W L I N ‘  W O L F

Howlin.Wolf.handsomecitizensCHESTER ARTHUR BURNETT known as HOWLIN’ WOLF. Born on June 10 1910, in White Station, Mississippi was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. With a booming voice and looming physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists.

howlin-wolf-fiftiesHe was named Chester Arthur Burnett, after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. His physique garnered him the nicknames of Big Foot Chester and Bull Cow as a young man: he was 6 feet 3 inches [191 cm] tall and often weighed close to 275 pounds [125 kg].

He explained the origin of the name Howlin’ Wolf:
“I got that from my grandfather”, who would often tell him stories about the wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved then the “howling wolves would get him”.

HowlinWolf.GettyImages2howlinwolf.gettyimages3Musician 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 added “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf,  I said ‘This is it for me. This is where the soul of man never dies'”

Howlin-WolfHowlin-Wolf

Ah oh, smokestack lightnin’
Shinin’ just like gold
Why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
A whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whoo

Whoa oh tell me, baby
What’s the matter with you?
Why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whooo

Whoa oh tell me, baby
Where did ya, stay last night?
A-why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whooo

Whoa oh, stop your train
Let a poor boy ride
Why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whooo

Whoa oh, fare ya well
Never see, a you no more
A-why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whooo

Whoa oh, who been here baby since
I, I been gone, a little bitty boy?
Girl, be on
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whooo

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