Howlin’ Wolf in 1971

Dec 19, 2022

I’ve never seen this until today. I could listen to Howlin’ Wolf talk on an endless loop; even when he’s not singing he’s the most captivating guy EVER. This is a superb looking clip from 1971, not too long before Wolf died. It’s amazing to behold, and man, I wish I could have seen him live in a Chicago bar like this.

Ralph Bass, seen here talking to Wolf and saying “baby” a lot, was responsible for a LOT of great records going back to the 1940s. But, man, a white dude born in 1910 dressed up in hippie clothes and wearing an orange wig and saying “baby” a lot is just really annoying, especially around a genius like Wolf. Bass was responsible for a LOT of great records being made, though, like “Open the Door, Richard” by Jack McVea, T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday Blues,” Hank Ballard’s “Work with Me, Annie,” The Dominoes’ “Sixty Minute Man,” and James Brown’s “Please, Please, Please.” I mean, that’s a hell of a list of records he was responsible for, but in this Howlin’ Wolf clip, he just comes off kind of creepy. But then again, most record label guys and producers back in the day were creeps. It was part of the business.

I love Howlin’ Wolf because everything that comes out of his mouth, whether it’s singin’ or talkin’, sounds like the truth. What an incredible human being.