MOANIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT

liner notes by Ralph Bass


Howlin' Wolf was christened Chester Arthur Burnett, June 10, 1910 in Aberdeen, Mississippi, but he will leave his mark for all posterity as 'The Wolf.'

The only original contribution we Americans have given to the field of music has been the blues, and yet he are prone to belittle its importance to music and musicians as a whole. Sure it's simple and bacis but nevertheless it's the root of 'Music Americana.' The rest of the world accliams our blues singers transfixing the name to folk singers, but the connotation is the same. Here in our own back yard, we have heard them so many times in smoke-filled joints reeking with the odors of booze and perspiration, pouring out the story of so many of us- despair, joy, frustration and expectation, that we take for granted what others acclaim.

Defining music to its least denominator, music is a basic emotion and yet the root of our music. The simple blues is only now being exposed in the concert hall. However, we must seperate the wheat from the chaff. Our honest blues singers are dwindling at an alarming rate, being replaced by the pseudo blues singer, the 'Johnny Come Lately,' making a sham of the traditional and sincere twelve bar and sometimes augmented phrases which belong to the soil.

It is only in the last few years thru constant exposure of records that John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy among others are taking their rightful places in the halls of music. Now another name ascends the podium- 'Howlin' Wolf.' It was no surprise when the office of Dean Rusk, Secretary of State, who is co-chairman of the Washington Jazz Festival, recently called us asking if 'The Wolf' was available for their concert this year. Water seeks its own level- Howlin' Wolf has come to his own.


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