Chester Arthur Burnett popularly known by the stage name Howlin’ Wolf was an American blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. His distinct deep voice is a defining characteristic of his music and helped to elevate it to the highest levels of blues music. He was originally from Mississippi and later moved to Chicago, where he formed his band and became a star. He was influenced by country blues trailblazers as well as the blues artists who came to Chicago in the 1930s. Howlin’ recorded a large number of songs, both solo and with his band, which have become standards in blues music. His music genre is electric blues, Chicago blues, and Blues. Here are the 10 Best Howlin’ Wolf Songs of All-Time:
10. Smokestack Lightning
Smokestack Lightning is a song about a gentleman who is yearning for love from his lady who is not with him at night. In this song, the narrator hopes that his lady might see him in a dream, or that he might wake up to find her standing at his bedside and will realize that it was not just a fantasy. According to Udiscover Music, this song was written by Chester Burnett and first recorded by his band in 1936. It was later covered by many other blues artists, including Freddie King and many more. The song was ranked the eighth best blues song of all time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It has been used as a soundtrack in several movies and TV shows like The Blues Brothers and The Wire.
Spoonful is a song about how we get just about enough love in bits from our partners in a way that is not enough to satisfy us. The song talks about how a man wants more love from his partner with the feeling that she will see that and respond positively. It was written by Willie Dixon, who is a famous blues musician and songwriter, Howlin Wolf, and Jody Williams. This song was a huge hit at its time of release and reached number three on the Billboard R&B singles chart. It was ranked the sixth-best blues song of all time by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The song was also covered by Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce and many other legendary R&B artists.
8. The Red Rooster
The Red Rooster is a song about a rooster that is too lazy to crow and does not notify its owner on time when it is dawn and the man has to miss his bus to work. The song was written by Wolf together with Willie Dixon and first recorded by Howlin’ Wolf on his album Howlin’ Wolf Album.
Willie Dixon is a songwriter who made major contributions to the blues genre and this song was recorded while they were collaborators. It has been covered by many artists over the years including John Mayall, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones. It has also been used in several films and TV shows including The Blues Brothers and the movie The Color of Money.
7. Killing Floor
Killing Floor is a song about someone who wishes they had quit their lives as they are drowning in their misery, grief, and sorrow. It was the lead single in the self-titled album Howlin’ Wolf Album. This song has been used as a soundtrack in several movies and TV shows like The Color of Money and Nashville. It has been covered by several artists including The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. It has been nominated Grammy Award for Best Blues Recording in the year 1967.
6. How Many More Years
This is a song about a person who is tired of being pushed around in a toxic relationship. He feels he needs to make up his mind about things and he does not want to be moody. According to Guitars Exchange, the song was a huge hit during the time of its release and reached number eleven at the Billboard R&B singles chart. It has also been used in several films and TV shows including The Blues Brothers and the movie The Color of Money.
Forty-Four is a song about a person who is wishing that he had broken his vow and went on a trip with friends to the south because he ended up feeling sorry for himself during the days after. He regrets not joining them in their trip to the south and wishes he had done so. This song has made its way into the movie and film industry featuring in TV shows like House, M.D., Dexter, and Nashville.
4. Shake for Me
Shake for Me is a song about a man asking his girl to come and have a good time with her. It is a romantic song that talks about how the lover wants his partner to take pride in herself and be happy. This song did perfectly reaching number 6 on the Billboard R&B singles chart. This song was written by Howlin’ Wolf and together with Willie Dixon. It has been used as a soundtrack in several movies and TV shows like The Color of Money.
3. Do the Do
Do the Do is a song about two people who are in love and are having fun together. It encourages people to do the do and appreciate their lives. This was one of the best tracks in the album Howlin’ Wolf. It has been covered by many artists including John Mayall, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Eric Clapton. It has featured in many movies and TV shows like House, M.D.
This is one of the best songs in Wolf’s best-selling album Super Super Blues Band. According to Watch Mojo, the song is about a man who is trying to tell his woman that she has moved up to another level where he can only stare at her. It reached number 3 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and was a popular hit during its time. The song has also found its way into the movie and film industry featured in TV shows like Baby day out and Nashville.
1. Moanin’ at Midnight
Moanin’ at Midnight is a song that is about a man who is out there trying to find a good woman to love and spend the rest of his life with. It is one of the lead tracks in the album The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions. This song was received well by R&B fans and reached number fourteen on the Billboard R&B chart. It has also been used as a soundtrack in several movies and TV shows like Law & Order.