Howlin' Wolf, 1910-1976

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Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), known as Howlin' Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. Originally from Mississippi, he moved to Chicago in adulthood and became successful, forming a rivalry with fellow bluesman Muddy Waters. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists.

The musician 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 recalled, "When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said, 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.'" Several of his songs, including "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Killing Floor" and "Spoonful", have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Timothy Duffy Collection, 1990-2004 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Official Military Personnel File for Chester A. Burnett. 1912-1998. National Archives at St. Louis
Relation Name
associatedWith Duffy, Timothy. person
memberOf United States. Army corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Illinois IL US
Mississippi MS US


Death 1976-01-10

Birth 1910-06-10






Ark ID: w65822g0

SNAC ID: 84395167