Willie Dixon

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Posted by motoman 04/27/2009 @ 14:09

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Bob Dylan:Together Through Life - All About Jazz
However, for Wolk to cast off Dylan as “Random Blues Journeyman #843" and passive-aggressively accuse him of plagiarizing David Wright's translation of The Canterbury Tales, not to mention Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Little Richard and Chuck Berry is...
Raiders Blank Monticello 11-0 to Advance to Regional Tournament - McCreary County Record
Dixon stole second base and then scored after back to back wild pitches. Willie Wilson singled but Randy Maxwell and Tyler Gregory seemed to bring an end to the Raiders big inning but number nine hitter Dustin Losey singled to right field and leadoff...
Neriser Maudella D. Lowe - Times-Enterprise
Willie G. Smiley officiating. Interment is at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Cairo. Active pallbearers are Donell Lowe Jr., Andre Lowe, Eric Lowe, Correy Lowe, Clifford Powell Jr., Brandon Williams and Lavoyd M. Reddick. Honorary pallbearers are Rusell Dixon...
Adam Lambert's 'Whole Lotta Love': The Story Behind The Cover - MTV.com
The legendary British rock act recorded the tribute to Chicago blues icon Willie Dixon during their second US tour after working it out in their live show, including it on their 1969 classic album Led Zeppelin II. Like many of the songs Zeppelin...
Unheralded songwriter was rock 'n roll pioneer - Grand Junction Sentinel
If you are a fan of the blues and/or rock 'n' roll you probably know who Willie Dixon is. If you don't know who Dixon is, you will if you keep reading. To put it in perspective, in my opinion, Dixon is the Bob Dylan of the blues and, in many ways,...
Concert review: The Dead at Allstate Arena - Chicago Tribune
< If I were a betting man, I'd bet that Bob Weir did “Wang Dang Doodle” in tribute to the writer of the song, Willie Dixon who Weir had a friendship with and with whom he wrote the Grateful Dead song "Eternity" together with before Willie's passing....
Bruce Springsteen keeps his "bar band" on its toes - Reuters
... usually fan-requested choices such as the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated," the Who's "My Generation," the Rascals' "Good Lovin'," the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie," the Soul Survivors' "Expressway to Your Heart," Willie Dixon's "Seventh Son," and ? and...
Outlaws pull away from Grizzlies - Billings Gazette
Dixon completed 9-of-13 passes for 166 yards and no interceptions, and tossed scoring passes to James Walton (49 yards), Robert Redd, (22, 27) and Willie Austin (3). The teams traded touchdowns throughout the first quarter, with the Outlaws taking the...
Church News - True Citizen (subscription)
Willie Givens and church family invite the public. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church will hold a gospel music workshop and concert. The concert, "God Favored Me" is scheduled for, 3 pm, Sunday, June 14. Workshops will be held June 10- 13,...
MUSIC REVIEW Two giants of music, Bob Dylan & Steve Earle, release ... - People's Weekly World
This was written, as the CD says by Bob Dylan and Robert Hunter with the lyrics by Dylan and the legend Willie Dixon. He then gives, “Special thanks to the estate of Willie Dixon and the Blues Heaven Foundation.” There is more to this CD then meets the...

Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon's style of blues was one of the inspirations for a new generation of music, rock and roll.

William James "Willie" Dixon (July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) was a well-known American blues bassist, singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. His songs, including "Little Red Rooster", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Evil", "Spoonful", "Back Door Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "I Ain't Superstitious", "My Babe", "Wang Dang Doodle", and "Bring It on Home", written during the peak of Chess Records, 1950-1965, and performed by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, influenced a worldwide generation of musicians. Next to Muddy Waters, he was the most influential person in shaping the post-World War II sound of the Chicago blues. He also was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late-1950s, and his songs were covered by some of the biggest bands of the 1960s and 1970s, including Bob Dylan, Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Grateful Dead.

Dixon was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 1, 1915. His mother Daisy often rhymed the things she said, a habit Dixon imitated. At the age of 7, he became an admirer of a band that featured pianist Little Brother Montgomery. Dixon was first introduced to blues when he served time on prison farms in Mississippi as an early-teenager. He learned how to sing harmony as a teen as well, from local carpenter Leo Phelps. Dixon sang bass in Phelps' group, The Jubilee Singers, a local gospel quartet that regularly appeared on the Vicksburg radio station WQBC. Dixon began adapting poems he was writing into songs, and even sold some of them to local music groups.

Dixon left Mississippi for Chicago in 1936. A man of considerable stature, at 6 and a half feet and weighing over 250 pounds, he took up boxing; he was so successful that he won the Illinois State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship (Novice Division) in 1937. Dixon turned professional as a boxer and worked briefly as Joe Louis' sparring partner. After four fights, Dixon left boxing after getting into a fight with his manager over being cheated out of money.

Dixon met Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston at the boxing gym where they would harmonize at times. Dixon performed in several vocal groups in Chicago but it was Caston that got him to pursue music seriously. Caston built him his first bass, made of a tin can and one string. Dixon's experience singing bass made the instrument familiar. He also learned the guitar.

Dixon began performing around Chicago and with Baby Doo, helped to form the Five Breezes, a group that blended blues, jazz, and vocal harmonies. Dixon's progress in learning to play the bass was halted when he resisted the draft during World War II as a conscientious objector and was imprisoned for ten months. After the war, he formed the group Four Jumps of Jive and then reunited with Caston, forming the Big Three Trio, who went on to record for Columbia Records.

Dixon signed to Chess Records as a recording artist, but began performing less and became more involved with the label. By 1951, he was a full time employee at Chess where he acted as producer, A&R talent scout, session musician, and staff songwriter. His relationship with the label was sometimes strained, although his spell there covered the years from 1948 to the early 1960s. During this time his output, and influence was prodigious.

There is no doubt that he was one of the major influences on the genre, through his original and varied songwriting, live performances, recording, and copious production work. He later recorded on Bluesville Records.

He was also a producer for Checker Records in Chicago and is considered one of the key figures in the creation of Chicago blues. He worked with Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Eddie Boyd, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lowell Fulson, Willie Mabon, Memphis Slim, Washboard Sam, Jimmy Rogers, and others. His double bass playing was of a high standard. He appears on many of Chuck Berry's early recordings, further proving his linkage between the blues and the birth of rock and roll.

Dixon is remembered mainly as a songwriter; his most enduring gift to the blues, lay in refurbishing archaic Southern motifs, often of magic and country folkways and often derived from earlier records such as those by Charlie Patton, in contemporary arrangements, to produce songs with both the sinew of the blues, and the agility of pop. British R&B bands of the 1960s constantly drew on the Dixon songbook for inspiration. In December 1964, The Rolling Stones reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart with their cover version of Dixon's "Little Red Rooster".

In addition, as his songwriting and production work started to take a backseat, his organisational ability was utilised, putting together all-star, Chicago based blues ensembles for work in Europe.

His health deteriorated in the 1970s and 1980s, due to long-term diabetes, and eventually his leg had to be amputated. Dixon was inducted at the inaugural session of the Blues Foundation's ceremony, into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. He was also granted a Grammy Award in 1989 for his album, Hidden Charms.

Dixon died of heart failure in Burbank, California on January 29, 1992 and was buried in the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

Dixon was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the "early influences" (pre-rock) category in 1994.

Actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer portrayed Dixon in Cadillac Records, a 2008 film based on the early history of Chess Records.

He wrote many famous blues songs, usually producing and playing double bass when they were first recorded. His work was covered varied range of artists, from the blues, to modern day rock music practitioners.

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Blues

Sheet music from "St. Louis Blues" (1914)

Blues is a music genre based on the use of the blues chord progressions and the blue notes. Though several blues forms exist, the 12-bar blues chord progressions are the most frequently encountered. Blue notes are sung or played at a slightly lower pitch than that of the major scale for expressive purposes. Blues emerged at the end of the 19th century as an accessible form of self-expression in African-American communities of the United States from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The use of blue notes and the prominence of call-and-response patterns in the music and lyrics are indicative of African influences. The blues influenced later American and Western popular music, as the blues form became a basic pattern of jazz, rhythm and blues, bluegrass and rock and roll. In the 1960s and 1970s, blues evolved into a hybrid form called blues rock. In the 1990s, punk blues appeared as an outgrowth of the blues rock and punk movements.

The term "the blues" refers to the "the blue devils", meaning melancholy and sadness; an early use of the term in this sense is found in George Colman's one-act farce Blue Devils (1798). Though the use of the phrase in African American music may be older, it has been attested to since 1912, when Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues" became the first copyrighted Blues composition. In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood.

During the first decades of the twentieth century, blues music was not clearly defined in terms of a chord progression. There were many blues in 8-bar form, such as "How Long Blues", "Trouble in Mind", and Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway". Idiosyncratic numbers of bars are also encountered occasionally, as with the 9-bar progression in "Sitting on Top of the World". The basic twelve-bar lyric framework of a blues composition is reflected by a standard harmonic progression of twelve bars in 4/4 or (rarely) 2/4 time. Slow blues are often played in 12/8 (4 beats per measure with 3 subdivisions per beat).

When the IV chord is played in bar 2, the blues is called a "Quick-Change" blues.

In this example, C is the tonic chord, F the subdominant. Much of the time, some or all of these chords are played in the harmonic seventh (7th) form. Frequently, the last chord is the dominant (V) turnaround, marking the transition to the beginning of the next progression. In this example, G is the turnaround.

The use of the harmonic seventh interval is characteristic of blues and is popularly called the "blues seven" . At a 7:4 ratio, it is not close to any interval on the conventional Western diatonic scale . Through convenience or necessity it is often approximated by a minor seventh interval or a dominant seventh chord.

The lyrics generally end on the last beat of the tenth bar or the first beat of the eleventh bar, and the final two bars are given to the instrumentalist as a break; the harmony of this two-bar break, the turnaround, can be extremely complex, sometimes consisting of single notes that defy analysis in terms of chords. The final beat, however, is almost always strongly grounded in the dominant seventh (V7), to provide tension for the next verse.

In melody, blues is distinguished by the use of the flattened third, fifth and seventh of the associated major scale. These specialized notes are called the blue or bent notes. These scale tones may replace the natural scale tones, or they may be added to the scale, as in the case of the minor pentatonic blues scale, in which the flattened third replaces the natural third, the flattened seventh replaces the natural seventh and the flattened fifth is added between the natural fourth and natural fifth. While the twelve-bar harmonic progression had been intermittently used for centuries, the revolutionary aspect of blues was the frequent use of the flattened third, flattened seventh, and even flattened fifth in the melody, together with crushing—playing directly adjacent notes at the same time (i.e., diminished second)—and sliding, similar to using grace notes. The blue notes allow for key moments of expression during the cadences, melodies, and embellishments of the blues. Where the three line verses end, for example, there is a falling cadence that approaches just shy of the tonic, combining the falling of a speaking voice with the shape of the blues scale in a unique, expressive way. This melodic fall, placed at the turnaround, is employed most clearly in the modern Chicago blues sound. A similar sound, melisma, occurs in gospel and R&B, but not to the same effect.

Whereas a classical musician will generally play a grace note distinctly, a blues singer or harmonica player will glissando, "crushing" the two notes and then releasing the grace note. In blues chord progressions, the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords are often played as harmonic seventh chords. (NB: While the harmonic seventh may be voiced easily on equally tempered instruments like the guitar, it is approximated by means of a minor seventh, which is a third of a semitone higher.) Blues is occasionally played in a minor key, such as in the style of Paul Butterfield. The scale differs little from the traditional minor, except for the occasional use of a flatted fifth in the tonic, often sung or played by the singer or lead instrument with the perfect fifth in the harmony. Janis Joplin's rendition of "Ball and Chain", accompanied by Big Brother and the Holding Company, provides an example of this technique. Minor-key blues is often structured in sixteen bars rather than twelve, in the style of gospel music, as in "St. James Infirmary Blues" and Trixie Smith's "My Man Rocks Me".

Blues shuffles reinforce the trance-like rhythm and call-and-response, and they form a repetitive effect called a groove. The simplest shuffles, used in many postwar electric blues, rock and roll, or early bebops, were a three-note riff on the bass strings of the guitar. When this riff was played over the bass and the drums, the groove "feel" is created. The walking bass is another device that helps to create a groove. The last bar of the chord progression is usually accompanied by a turnaround.

Blues in jazz is much different from blues in other types of music. Jazz blues normally stays on the V chord through bars 9 and 10, emphasizing the dominant-tonic resolution over the subdominant-tonic structure of traditional blues. This final V-I cadence lends itself to many variations, the most basic of which is the ii-V-I progression in bars 9, 10 and 11. From that point, both the dominant approach (ii-V) and the resolution (I) can be altered and "substituted" in a variety of ways, even including abandonment of the I chord altogether (bars 9–12: ii | V | iii, vi | ii, V |). In this case, bars 11 and 12 function as an extended turnaround to the next chorus.

The traditional blues verse was probably a single line, repeated four times. It was only later that the current, most common structure of a line, repeated once and then followed by a single line conclusion, became standard. Two of the first published blues songs, however, Dallas Blues (1912) and St. Louis Blues (1914), each featured lines repeated twice, followed by an "answer" line, played over 12 bars of music. W.C. Handy wrote that he adopted this convention to avoid the monotony of lines repeated three times. These lines were often sung following a pattern closer to a rhythmic talk than to a melody. Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative. The singer voiced his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, hard times." Typical authority figures often include train conductor, judge, landlord/lady, captain (boss), and chief of police.

Author Ed Morales has claimed that Yoruba mythology played a part in early blues, citing Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" as a "thinly veiled reference to Eleggua, the orisha in charge of the crossroads". However, many seminal blues artists such as Charley Patton, or Skip James had in their repertoire several religious songs or spirituals. Reverend Gary Davis and Blind Willie Johnson are examples of artists often categorized as blues musicians for their music but whose lyrics clearly belong to the spirituals.

Hokum blues celebrated both comedic lyrical content and a boisterous, farcical performance style. Tampa Red's classic "Tight Like That" is a sly wordplay with the double meaning of being "tight" with someone coupled with a more salacious physical familiarity. Lyrical content of music became slightly simpler in post war-blues in which focus was often almost exclusively on singer's relationship woes or sexual worries. Many lyrical themes that frequently appeared in pre-war blues such as economic depression, farming, devils, gambling, magic, floods and dry periods were less common post war blues.

The first publication of blues sheet music was Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues" in 1912; W. C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" followed in the same year. The first recording by an African American singer was Mamie Smith's 1920 rendition of Perry Bradford's "Crazy Blues". But the origins of the blues date back to some decades earlier, probably during the late 19th century. They are very poorly documented, due in part to discrimation within American society, including academic circles. A testimony of blues music as it was before the 1920s is given by the recordings of artists such as Lead Belly or Henry Thomas. They show many different structures distinct of the twelve-, eight-, or sixteen-bar structure based on tonic (I), subdominant (IV) and dominant chords (V), which became later the most common forms. What is now recognizable as the standard 12-bar blues form is documented from oral history and sheet music appearing in African American communities throughout the region along the lower Mississippi River, in Memphis, Tennessee's Beale Street, and by white bands in New Orleans.

There are few characteristics common to all blues music, because the genre took its shape from the idiosyncrasies of individual performances. However, there are some characteristics that were present long before the creation of the modern blues. An early form of blues-like music were call-and-response shouts, which were a "functional expression... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure." A form of this pre-blues was heard in slave ring shouts and field hollers, expanded into "simple solo songs laden with emotional content".

Blues has evolved from an unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of African-American slaves (imported from West Africa; principally present day Mali, Senegal, the Gambia and Ghana) and rural blacks into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States. Though blues, as it is now known, can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the African call-and-response tradition, transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar, the blues form itself bears no resemblance to the melodic styles of the West African griots, and the influences are faint and tenuous. In particular, no specific African musical form can be identified as the single direct ancestor of the blues. However many blues elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa. The Diddley bow, a homemade one-stringed instrument found in parts of the American South in the early twentieth century, and the banjo are African-derived instruments that may have helped in the transfer of African performance techniques into the early blues instrumental vocabulary. The banjo seems to be directly imported from the western African music. It is analogous to the musical instrument that griots played and which was called halam or konting by African peoples such as the Wolof, Fula and Madinka. However in the 1920s, at the time country blues began to get recorded, the use of the banjo in blues music was quite marginal and limited to individuals such as Papa Charlie Jackson and later Gus Cannon.

Blues music also adopted elements from the "Ethiopian airs", minstrel shows and Negro spirituals, including instrumental and harmonic accompaniment. The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music".

The musical forms and styles that are now considered the "blues" as well as modern "country music" arose in the same regions during the nineteenth century in the southern United States. Recorded blues and country can be found from as far back as the 1920s, when the popular record industry developed and created marketing categories called "race music" and "hillbilly music" to sell music by blacks for blacks and by whites for whites, respectively. At the time, there was no clear musical division between "blues" and "country," except for the ethnicity of the performer, and even that was sometimes documented incorrectly by record companies. Though musicologists can now attempt to define “the blues” narrowly in terms of certain chord structures and lyric strategies thought to have originated in West Africa, audiences originally heard the music in a far more general way: it was simply the music of the rural south, notably the Mississippi Delta. Black and white musicians shared the same repertoire and thought of themselves as “songsters” rather than “blues musicians.” The notion of blues as a separate genre arose during the black migration from the countryside to urban areas in the 1920s and the simultaneous development of the recording industry. “Blues” became a code word for a record designed to sell to black listeners.

The origins of the blues are closely related to the religious music of the Afro-American community, the spirituals. The origins of the religious music of the Afro-Americans are much older than the blues and are usually dated to the mid of the 18th century when the slaves were christianized and began to sing and play Christian hymns, in particular those of Isaac Watts which were very popular. When the blues appeared, before blues gained its formal definition in terms of chord progressions, the blues was defined as the secular counter part of the spirituals. It was the low-down music played by the rural Blacks. Depending on the religious community a musician belonged to, it was more or less considered as a sin to play this low-down music: blues was the devil's music. Musicians were therefore segregated into two categories: gospel and blues singers, guitar preachers and songsters. However, at the time rural Black music began to get recorded in the 1920s, both categories of musicians used very similar techniques: call-and-response patterns, blue notes, slide guitars. Gospel music was nevertheless using music forms compatible with christian hymns and therefore less marked by the blues form than its secular counter part.

The American sheet music publishing industry produced a great deal of ragtime music. By 1912, the sheet music industry published three popular blues-like compositions, precipitating the Tin Pan Alley adoption of blues elements: "Baby Seals' Blues" by "Baby" F. Seals (arranged by Artie Matthews), "Dallas Blues" by Hart Wand and "The Memphis Blues" by W. C. Handy.

Handy was a formally trained musician, composer and arranger who helped to popularize the blues by transcribing and orchestrating blues in an almost symphonic style, with bands and singers. He became a popular and prolific composer, and billed himself as the "Father of the Blues"; however, his compositions can be described as a fusion of blues with ragtime and jazz, a merger facilitated using the Cuban habanera rhythm that had long been a part of ragtime; Handy's signature work was the "St. Louis Blues".

In the 1920s, the blues became a major element of African American and American popular music, reaching white audiences via Handy's arrangements and the classic female blues performers. The blues evolved from informal performances in bars to entertainment in theaters. Blues performances were organized by the Theater Owners Bookers Association in nightclubs such as the Cotton Club and juke joints such as the bars along Beale Street in Memphis. This evolution led to a notable diversification of the styles and to a clearer division between blues and jazz. Several record companies, such as the American Record Corporation, Okeh Records, and Paramount Records, began to record African American music.

As the recording industry grew, country blues performers like Bo Carter, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red and Blind Blake became more popular in the African American community. Kentucky-born Sylvester Weaver was in 1923 the first to record the slide guitar style, in which a guitar is fretted with a knife blade or the sawed-off neck of a bottle. The slide guitar became an important part of the Delta blues. The first blues recordings from the 1920s are categorized as a traditional, rural country blues and a more polished 'city' or urban blues.

Country blues performers often improvised, either without accompaniment or with only a banjo or guitar. Regional styles of country blues varied widely in the early 20th century. The (Mississippi) Delta blues was a rootsy sparse style with passionate vocals accompanied by slide guitar. The little-recorded Robert Johnson combined elements of urban and rural blues. In addition to Robert Johnson, influential performers of this style included his predecessors Charley Patton and Son House. Singers such as Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller performed in the southeastern "delicate and lyrical" Piedmont blues tradition, which used an elaborate ragtime-based fingerpicking guitar technique. Georgia also had an early slide tradition with George Carter, Curley Weaver, Tampa Red, "Barbecue Bob" Hicks and James "Kokomo" Arnold as representatives of this style.

The lively Memphis blues style, which developed in the 1920s and 1930s near Memphis, Tennessee, was influenced by jug bands such as the Memphis Jug Band or the Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers. Performers such as Frank Stokes, Blind Old Tom Anderson, Sleepy John Estes, Robert Wilkins, Big Boy Brazier, Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie used a variety of unusual instruments such as washboard, fiddle, kazoo or mandolin. Memphis Minnie was famous for her virtuoso guitar style. Pianist Memphis Slim began his career in Memphis, but his distinct style was smoother and had some swing elements. Many blues musicians based in Memphis moved to Chicago in the late 1930s or early 1940s and became part of the urban blues movement, which blended country music and electric blues.

City or urban blues styles were more codified and elaborate as a performer was no longer within their local, immediate community and had to adapt to a larger, more varied audience's aesthetic. Classic female urban and vaudeville blues singers were popular in the 1920s, among them Mamie Smith, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Victoria Spivey. Mamie Smith, more a vaudeville performer than a blues artist, was the first African-American to record a blues in 1920; her second record, "Crazy Blues", sold 75,000 copies in its first month. Ma Rainey, the "Mother of Blues", and Bessie Smith each " around center tones, perhaps in order to project her voice more easily to the back of a room." Smith would "...sing a song in an unusual key, and her artistry in bending and stretching notes with her beautiful, powerful contralto to accommodate her own interpretation was unsurpassed." Urban male performers included popular black musicians of the era, such Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy and Leroy Carr. Before WWII, Tampa Red was sometimes referred to as "the Guitar Wizard". Carr accompanied himself on the piano with Scrapper Blackwell on guitar, a format that continued well into the 50s with people such as Charles Brown, and even Nat "King" Cole.

Boogie-woogie was another important style of 1930s and early 1940s urban blues. While the style is often associated with solo piano, boogie-woogie was also used to accompany singers and, as a solo part, in bands and small combos. Boogie-Woogie style was characterized by a regular bass figure, an ostinato or riff and shifts of level in the left hand, elaborating each chord and trills and decorations in the right hand. Boogie-woogie was pioneered by the Chicago-based Jimmy Yancey and the Boogie-Woogie Trio (Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis). Chicago boogie-woogie performers included Clarence "Pine Top" Smith and Earl Hines, who "linked the propulsive left-hand rhythms of the ragtime pianists with melodic figures similar to those of Armstrong's trumpet in the right hand." The smooth Louisiana style of Professor Longhair and, more recently, Dr. John blends classic rhythm and blues with blues styles.

Another development in this period was big band blues. The "territory bands" operating out of Kansas City, the Benny Moten orchestra, Jay McShann, and the Count Basie Orchestra were also concentrating on the blues, with 12-bar blues instrumentals such as Basie's "One O'Clock Jump" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" and boisterous "blues shouting" by Jimmy Rushing on songs like "Going to Chicago" and "Sent for You Yesterday". A well-known big band blues tune is Glenn Miller's "In the Mood". In the 1940s, the jump blues style developed. Jump blues is influenced by big band music and uses saxophone or other brass instruments and the guitar in the rhythm section to create a jazzy, up-tempo sound with declamatory vocals. Jump blues tunes by Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner, based in Kansas City, Missouri, influenced the development of later styles such as rock and roll and rhythm and blues.

After World War II and in the 1950s, new styles of electric blues music became popular in cities such as Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis. Electric blues used amplified electric guitars, electric bass, drums, and harmonica played through a microphone and a PA system or a guitar amplifier. Chicago became a center for electric blues in the early 1950s. Chicago blues is influenced to a large extent by the Mississippi blues style, because many performers had migrated from the Mississippi region. Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Jimmy Reed were all born in Mississippi and moved to Chicago during the Great Migration. Their style is characterized by the use of electric guitar, sometimes slide guitar, harmonica, and a rhythm section of bass and drums. J. T. Brown who played in Elmore James's bands, or J. B. Lenoir's also used saxophones, but these were used more as "backing" or rhythmic support than as solo instruments.

Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) are well known harmonica (called "harp" by blues musicians) players of the early Chicago blues scene. Other harp players such as Big Walter Horton were also influential. Muddy Waters and Elmore James were known for their innovative use of slide electric guitar. B. B. King and Freddie King (no relation), who did not use slide guitar, were influential guitarists of the Electric blues style, even though they weren't from Chicago. Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters were known for their deep, "gravelly" voices.

Bassist and composer Willie Dixon played a major role on the Chicago blues scene. He composed and wrote many standard blues songs of the period, such as "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (both penned for Muddy Waters) and, "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Back Door Man" for Howlin' Wolf. Most artists of the Chicago blues style recorded for the Chicago-based Chess Records label. Other prominent blues labels of this era included J.O.B. Records and Vee-Jay Records.

In the 1950s, blues had a huge influence on mainstream American popular music. While popular musicians like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry were influenced by the Chicago blues, their enthusiastic playing styles departed from the melancholy aspects of blues. Chicago blues also influenced Louisiana's zydeco music, with Clifton Chenier using blues accents. Zydeco musicians used electric solo guitar and cajun arrangements of blues standards.

Other blues artists, such as T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker had influences not directly related to the Chicago style. Dallas-born T-Bone Walker is often associated with the California blues style, which is smoother than Chicago blues and is a transition between the Chicago blues, the jump blues and swing with some jazz-guitar influence. John Lee Hooker's blues is more "personal", based on Hooker's deep rough voice accompanied by a single electric guitar. Though not directly influenced by boogie woogie, his "groovy" style is sometimes called "guitar boogie". His first hit, "Boogie Chillen", reached #1 on the R&B charts in 1949.

By the late 1950s, the swamp blues genre developed near Baton Rouge, with performers such as Lightnin' Slim, Slim Harpo, Sam Myers and Jerry McCain. Swamp blues has a slower pace and a simpler use of the harmonica than the Chicago blues style performers such as Little Walter or Muddy Waters. Songs from this genre include "Scratch my Back", "She's Tough" and "I'm a King Bee".

By the beginning of the 1960s, genres influenced by African American music such as rock and roll and soul were part of mainstream popular music. White performers had brought African-American music to new audiences, both within the US and abroad. In the UK, bands emulated US blues legends, and UK blues-rock-based bands had an influential role throughout the 1960s.

Blues performers such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters continued to perform to enthusiastic audiences, inspiring new artists steeped in traditional blues, such as New York-born Taj Mahal. John Lee Hooker blended his blues style with rock elements and playing with younger white musicians, creating a musical style that can be heard on the 1971 album Endless Boogie. B. B. King's virtuoso guitar technique earned him the eponymous title "king of the blues". In contrast to the Chicago style, King's band used strong brass support from a saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, instead of using slide guitar or harp. Tennessee-born Bobby "Blue" Bland, like B. B. King, also straddled the blues and R&B genres. During this period, Freddie King and Albert King often played with rock and soul musicians (Eric Clapton, Booker T & the MGs)and had a major influence on those styles of music.

White audiences' interest in the blues during the 1960s increased due to the Chicago-based Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the British blues movement. The style of British blues developed in the UK, when bands such as Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and Cream performed classic blues songs from the Delta or Chicago blues traditions.

The British blues musicians of the early 1960s inspired a number of American blues rock fusion performers, including Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, The J. Geils Band, Ry Cooder and The Allman Brothers Band. Many of Led Zeppelin's earlier hits were renditions of traditional blues songs. One blues rock performer, Jimi Hendrix, was a rarity in his field at the time: a black man who played psychedelic rock. Hendrix was a skilled guitarist, and a pioneer in the innovative use of distortion and feedback in his music. Through these artists and others, blues music influenced the development of rock music.

In the late 1960s, the West Side style blues emerged in Chicago with Magic Sam, Magic Slim and Otis Rush. West Side style has strong rhythmic support from a rhythm guitar, bass electric guitar, and drums. Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Luther Allison had a West Side style that was dominated by amplified electric lead guitar. Since the early 1970s, The Texas rock-blues style emerged which used guitars in both solo and rhythm roles. In contrast with the West Side blues, the Texas style is strongly influenced by the British rock-blues movement. Major artists of the Texas style are Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and ZZ Top. These artists all began their musical journey in the 1970s, but they did not achieve major international success until the next decade.

Since the 1980s, there has been a resurgence of interest in the blues among a certain part of the African-American population, particularly around Jackson, MS and other deep South regions. Often termed "soul blues" or "Southern soul," the music at the heart of this movement was given new life by the unexpected success of two particular recordings on the Jackson-based Malaco label: Z. Z. Hill's Down Home Blues (1982) and Little Milton's The Blues is Alright (1984). Contemporary African-American performers who work this vein of the blues include Bobby Rush, Denise LaSalle, Sir Charles Jones, Bettye LaVette, Marvin Sease and Peggy Scott-Adams.

During the 1980s, blues also continued in both traditional and new forms. In 1986, the album Strong Persuader revealed Robert Cray as a major blues artist. The first Stevie Ray Vaughan recording Texas Flood was released in 1983, and the Texas based guitarist exploded onto the international stage. 1989 saw a revival of John Lee Hooker's popularity with the album The Healer. Eric Clapton known for his performances with the Blues Breakers and Cream, made a comeback in the 1990s with his album Unplugged, in which he played some standard blues numbers on acoustic guitar. However, the technological progresses which appeared in the 1990s in the domain of digital multitrack recording, and the evolution of the marketting strategies, which now include the production of video clips, have lead to an increase of the costs of production and also to some loss of the spontaneity and improvisation which always have been an important component of blues music.

In the 1980s and 1990s, blues publications such as Living Blues and Blues Revue began to be distributed, major cities began forming blues societies, outdoor blues festivals became more common, and more nightclubs and venues for blues emerged.

In the 1990s, blues performers explored a range of musical genres, as can be seen, for example, from the broad array of nominees of the yearly Blues Music Awards, previously named W. C. Handy Awards or of the Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary and Traditional Blues Album. Contemporary blues music is nurtured by several blues labels such as: Alligator Records, Ruf Records, Chess Records (MCA), Delmark Records, NorthernBlues Music, and Vanguard Records (Artemis Records). Some labels are famous for their rediscovering and remastering of blues rarities such as Arhoolie Records, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (heir of Folkways Records) and Yazoo Records (Shanachie Records).

Young blues artists today are exploring all aspects of the blues, from classic delta to more rock-oriented blues, artists born after 1970 such as Sean Costello, Shannon Curfman, Anthony Gomes, Shemekia Copeland, Jonny Lang, Corey Harris, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Bonamassa, Michelle Malone,The White Stripes, North Mississippi Allstars, Gracie B, Everlast, The Black Keys, Bob Log III, Jose P and Hillstomp developing their own styles. Memphis, Texas-based William Daniel McFalls, also known as "Blues Boy Willie" is a performer of traditional blues.

Blues musical styles, forms (12-bar blues), melodies, and the blues scale have influenced many other genres of music, such as rock and roll, jazz, and popular music. Prominent jazz, folk or rock performers, such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan and the White Stripes have performed significant blues recordings. The blues scale is often used in popular songs like Harold Arlen's "Blues in the Night", blues ballads like "Since I Fell for You" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", and even in orchestral works such as George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Concerto in F". Gershwin's second "Prelude" for solo piano is an interesting example of a classical blues, maintaining the form with academic strictness.

The blues scale is ubiquitous in modern popular music and informs many modal frames, especially the ladder of thirds used in rock music (e.g., in "A Hard Day's Night"). Blues forms are used in the theme to the televised Batman, teen idol Fabian's hit, "Turn Me Loose", country music star Jimmie Rodgers' music, and guitarist/vocalist Tracy Chapman's hit "Give Me One Reason".

R&B music can be traced back to spirituals and blues. Musically, spirituals were a descendant of New England choral traditions, and in particular of Isaac Watts's hymns, mixed with African rhythms and call-and-response forms. Spirituals or religious chants in the African-American community are much better documented than the "low-down" blues. Spiritual singing developed because African-American communities could gather for mass or worship gatherings, which were called camp meetings.

Early country bluesmen such as Skip James, Charley Patton, Georgia Tom Dorsey played country and urban blues and had influences from spiritual singing. Dorsey helped to popularize Gospel music. Gospel music developed in the 1930s, with the Golden Gate Quartet. In the 1950s, soul music by Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and James Brown used gospel and blues music elements. In the 1960s and 1970s, gospel and blues were these merged in soul blues music. Funk music of the 1970s was influenced by soul; funk can be seen as an antecedent of hip-hop and contemporary R&B.

Before World War II, the boundaries between blues and jazz were less clear. Usually jazz had harmonic structures stemming from brass bands, whereas blues had blues forms such as the 12-bar blues. However, the jump blues of the 1940s mixed both styles. After WWII, blues had a substantial influence on jazz. Bebop classics, such as Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time", used the blues form with the pentatonic scale and blue notes. Bebop marked a major shift in the role of jazz, from a popular style of music for dancing, to a "high-art," less-accessible, cerebral "musician's music". The audience for both blues and jazz split, and the border between blues and jazz became more defined. Artists straddling the boundary between jazz and blues are categorized into the jazz blues sub-genre.

The blues' twelve-bar structure and the blues scale was a major influence on rock and roll music. Rock and roll has been called "blues with a back beat"; Carl Perkins called rockabilly "blues with a country beat". Rockabillies were also said to be twelve-bar blues played with a bluegrass beat. "Hound Dog", with its unmodified twelve-bar structure (in both harmony and lyrics) and a melody centered on flatted third of the tonic (and flatted seventh of the subdominant), is a blues song transformed into a rock and roll song. Jerry Lee Lewis's style of rock and roll was heavily influenced by the blues and its derivative boogie woogie. His style of music was not exactly rockabilly but it has been often called real rock and roll (this is a label he shares with several African American rock and roll performers).

Early country music was infused with the blues. Jimmie Rodgers, Moon Mullican, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe and Hank Williams have all described themselves as blues singers and their music has a blues feel that is different to the country pop of Eddy Arnold. A lot of the 1970s-era "outlaw" country music by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings also borrowed from the blues. When Jerry Lee Lewis returned to country after the decline of 1950s style rock and roll, he sang his country with a blues feel and often included blues standards on his albums. Many early rock and roll songs are based on blues: "That's All Right Mama", "Johnny B. Goode", "Blue Suede Shoes", "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On", "Shake, Rattle, and Roll", and "Long Tall Sally". The early African American rock musicians retained the sexual themes and innuendos of blues music: "Got a gal named Sue, knows just what to do" ("Tutti Frutti", Little Richard) or "See the girl with the red dress on, She can do the Birdland all night long" ("What'd I Say", Ray Charles).

Like jazz, rock and roll, heavy metal music, hip hop music, reggae, country music, and pop music, blues has been accused of being the "devil's music" and of inciting violence and other poor behavior. In the early 20th century, the blues was considered disreputable, especially as white audiences began listening to the blues during the 1920s. In the early twentieth century, W.C. Handy was the first to popularize blues-influenced music among non-black Americans.

During the blues revival of the 1960s and '70s, acoustic blues artist Taj Mahal and legendary Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins wrote and performed music that figured prominently in the popularly and critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972). The film earned Mahal a Grammy nomination for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture and a BAFTA nomination. Almost 30 years later, Mahal wrote blues for, and performed a banjo composition, claw-hammer style, in the 2001 movie release "Songcatcher," which focused on the story of the preservation of the roots music of Appalachia.

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Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin in 1968. From left to right: John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band's individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres also incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk, classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country. The band did not release the popular songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.

Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham's death in 1980, the band continues to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10, with six reaching the number one spot. Led Zeppelin are ranked #1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as "the heaviest band of all time" and "the biggest band of the '70s".

On 10 December 2007 the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with deceased drummer John Bonham's son, Jason) for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London.

The beginning of Led Zeppelin can be traced back to the English blues-influenced rock band The Yardbirds. Jimmy Page joined The Yardbirds in 1966 to play bass guitar after the original bassist, Paul Samwell-Smith, left the group. Shortly after, Page switched from bass to lead guitar, creating a dual-lead guitar line up with Jeff Beck. Following the departure of Beck from the group in October 1966, The Yardbirds, tired from constant touring and recording, were beginning to wind down. Page wanted to form a supergroup with himself and Beck on guitars, and The Who's rhythm section—drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle. Vocalists Donovan, Steve Winwood and Steve Marriott were also considered for the project. The group never formed, although Page, Beck and Moon did record a song together in 1966, "Beck's Bolero", which is featured on Beck's 1968 album, Truth. The recording session also included bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones, who told Page that he would be interested in collaborating with him on future projects.

The Yardbirds played their final gig in July 1968. However, they were still committed to performing several concerts in Scandinavia, so drummer Jim McCarty and vocalist Keith Relf authorised Page and bassist Chris Dreja to use the Yardbirds name to fulfil the band's obligations. Page and Dreja began putting a new line-up together. Page's first choice for lead singer, Terry Reid, declined the offer, but suggested Robert Plant, a West Bromwich singer. Plant eventually accepted the position, recommending a drummer, John Bonham from nearby Redditch. When Dreja dropped out of the project to become a photographer (he would later take the photograph that appeared on the back of Led Zeppelin's debut album), John Paul Jones, at the suggestion of his wife, contacted Page about the vacant position. Being familiar with Jones' credentials, Page agreed to bring in Jones as the final piece.

The band completed the Scandinavian tour as The New Yardbirds, playing together for the first time in front of a live audience at Gladsaxe Teen Clubs in Gladsaxe, Denmark on 7 September 1968. However, it was clear to the band that performing under the old Yardbirds tag was akin to working under false pretences, and upon returning from Scandinavia they decided to change their name. One account of the band's naming, which has become almost legendary, has it that Keith Moon and John Entwistle, drummer and bassist for The Who, respectively, suggested that a possible supergroup containing themselves, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck would go over like a lead zeppelin, a term Entwistle used to describe a bad gig. The group deliberately dropped the 'a' in Lead at the suggestion of their manager, Peter Grant, to prevent "thick Americans" from pronouncing it "leed".

Grant also secured for the new band an advance deal of $200,000 from Atlantic Records in November 1968, then the biggest deal of its kind for a new band. Atlantic was a label known for a catalogue of blues, soul and jazz artists, but in the late 1960s it began to take an interest in progressive British rock acts, and signed Led Zeppelin without having ever seen them, largely on the recommendation of singer Dusty Springfield. Under the terms of the contract secured by Grant, the band alone would decide when they would release albums and tour, and had final say over the contents and design of each album. They also would decide how to promote each release and which (if any) tracks to release as singles, and formed their own company, Superhype, to handle all publishing rights.

With their first album not yet released, the band made their live debut under the name "Led Zeppelin" at the University of Surrey, Guildford on 25 October 1968. This was followed by a US concert debut on 26 December 1968 (when promoter Barry Fey added them to a bill in Denver, Colorado) before moving on to the west coast for dates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities. Led Zeppelin's eponymous debut album was released on 12 January 1969, during their first US tour. The album's blend of blues, folk and eastern influences with distorted amplification made it one of the pivotal records in the creation of heavy metal music. However, Plant has commented that it is unfair for people to typecast the band as heavy metal, since about a third of their music was acoustic. On their first album Plant receives no credit for his contributions to the song writing as a result of his previous association with CBS Records.

In an interview for the Led Zeppelin Profiled radio promo CD (1990) Page said that the album took about 36 hours of studio time to create (including mixing), and stated that he knows this because of the amount charged on the studio bill. Peter Grant claimed the album cost £1,750 to produce (including artwork). By 1975, the album had grossed $7,000,000. Led Zeppelin's album cover met an interesting protest when, at a 28 February 1970 gig in Copenhagen, the band were billed as "The Nobs" as the result of a threat of legal action from aristocrat Eva von Zeppelin (a relative of the creator of the Zeppelin aircraft), who, upon seeing the logo of the Hindenburg crashing in flames, threatened to have the show pulled off the air.

In their first year, Led Zeppelin managed to complete four US and four UK concert tours, and also released their second album, entitled Led Zeppelin II. Recorded almost entirely on the road at various North American recording studios, the second album was an even greater success than the first and reached the number one chart position in the US and the UK. Here the band further developed ideas established on their debut album, creating a work which became even more widely acclaimed and arguably more influential. It has been suggested that Led Zeppelin II largely wrote the blueprint for 1970s hard rock.

Following the album's release, Led Zeppelin completed several more tours of the United States. They played often, initially in clubs and ballrooms, then in larger auditoriums and eventually stadiums as their popularity grew. Led Zeppelin concerts could last more than three hours, with expanded, improvised live versions of their song repertoire. Many of these shows have been preserved as Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings. It was also during this period of intensive concert touring that the band developed a reputation for off-stage excess. One alleged example of such extravagance was the shark episode, or red snapper incident, which is said to have taken place at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, Washington, on 28 July 1969.

Led Zeppelin's popularity in the early years was dwarfed by their triumphant mid-seventies successes and it is this period that continues to define the band. The band's image also changed as members began to wear elaborate, flamboyant clothing. Led Zeppelin began travelling in a private jet airliner (nicknamed The Starship), rented out entire sections of hotels (most notably the Continental Hyatt House in Los Angeles, known colloquially as the "Riot House"), and became the subject of many of rock's most famous stories of debauchery. One escapade involved John Bonham riding a motorcycle through a rented floor of the Riot House, while another involved the destruction of a room in the Tokyo Hilton, leading to the band being banned from that establishment for life. However, although Led Zeppelin developed a reputation for trashing their hotel suites and throwing television sets out of the windows, some suggest that these tales have been somewhat exaggerated. Music journalist Chris Welch argues that " travels spawned many stories, but it was a myth that were constantly engaged in acts of wanton destruction and lewd behaviour.

For the composition of their third album, Led Zeppelin III, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant retired to Bron-Yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales, in 1970. The result was a more acoustic sound (and a song, "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp", misspelt as "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" on the album cover), which was strongly influenced by folk and Celtic music, and revealed the band's versatility.

The album's rich acoustic sound initially received mixed reactions, with many critics and fans surprised at the turn taken away from the primarily electric compositions of the first two albums. Over time, however, its reputation has improved and Led Zeppelin III is now generally praised. It has a unique album cover featuring a wheel which, when rotated, displays various images through cut outs in the main jacket sleeve. The album's opening track, "Immigrant Song", was released in November 1970 by Atlantic Records as a single against the band's wishes. It included their only non-album b-side, "Hey Hey What Can I Do". Even though the band saw their albums as indivisible, whole listening experiences—and their manager, Peter Grant, maintained an aggressive pro-album stance—some singles were released without their consent. The group also increasingly resisted television appearances, enforcing their preference that their fans hear and see them in live concerts.

Led Zeppelin's fourth album was released on 8 November 1971. There was no indication of a title or a band name on the original cover, but on the LP label four symbols were printed—. The band were motivated to undertake this decision because of their disdain for the music press, which tended to label them as hyped and overrated. In response, they released the album with no indication of who they were in order to prove that the music could sell itself. The album is variously referred to as Four Symbols and The Fourth Album (both titles were used in the Atlantic Records catalogue), and also IV, Untitled, Zoso, Runes, Sticks, Man With Sticks, and Four. It is still officially untitled and most commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2005, Plant said that it is simply called The Fourth Album.

The album is one of the best-selling albums in history and its massive popularity cemented Led Zeppelin's superstardom in the 1970s. To date it has sold 23 million copies in the United States. The track "Stairway to Heaven" (sample (info)), although never released as a single, is sometimes quoted as being the most requested and most played album-oriented rock FM radio song. In 2005, the magazine Guitar World held a poll of readers in which "Stairway to Heaven" was voted as having the greatest guitar solo of all time.

Led Zeppelin's next album, Houses of the Holy, was released in 1973. It featured further experimentation, with longer tracks and expanded use of synthesisers and mellotron orchestration. The song "Houses of the Holy" does not appear on its namesake album, even though it was recorded at the same time as other songs on the album; it eventually made its way onto the 1975 album Physical Graffiti. The orange album cover of Houses of the Holy depicts images of nude children climbing up the Giant's Causeway (in County Antrim, Northern Ireland). Although the children are not depicted from the front, this was controversial at the time of the album's release, and in some areas, such as the "Bible Belt" and Spain, the record was banned.

The album topped the charts, and Led Zeppelin's subsequent concert tour of the United States in 1973 broke records for attendance, as they consistently filled large auditoriums and stadiums. At Tampa Stadium, Florida, they played to 56,800 fans (breaking the record set by The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965), and grossed $309,000. Three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York were filmed for a motion picture, but the theatrical release of this project (The Song Remains the Same) would be delayed until 1976. During the final night's performance, $203,000 of the band's money from gate receipts went missing from a safety deposit box at the Drake Hotel. It was never recovered.

In 1974, Led Zeppelin took a break from touring and launched their own record label, Swan Song, named after one of only five Led Zeppelin songs which the band never released commercially (Page later re-worked the song with his band, The Firm, and it appears as "Midnight Moonlight" on their first album). The record label's logo, based on a drawing called Evening: Fall of Day (1869) by William Rimmer, features a picture of Apollo. The logo can be found on much Led Zeppelin memorabilia, especially t-shirts. In addition to using Swan Song as a vehicle to promote their own albums, the band expanded the label's roster, signing artists such as Bad Company, Pretty Things, Maggie Bell, Detective, Dave Edmunds, Midnight Flyer, Sad Café and Wildlife. The label was successful while Led Zeppelin existed, but folded less than three years after they disbanded.

24 February 1975 saw the release of Led Zeppelin's first double album, Physical Graffiti, which was their first release on the Swan Song Records label. It consisted of fifteen songs, eight of which were recorded at Headley Grange in 1974, and the remainder being tracks previously recorded but not released on earlier albums. A review in Rolling Stone magazine referred to Physical Graffiti as Led Zeppelin's "bid for artistic respectability," adding that the only competition the band had for the title of 'World's Best Rock Band' were The Rolling Stones and The Who. The album was a massive fiscal and critical success. Shortly after the release of Physical Graffiti, all previous Led Zeppelin albums simultaneously re-entered the top-200 album chart, and the band embarked on another U.S. tour, again playing to record-breaking crowds. In May 1975, Led Zeppelin played five highly successful, sold-out nights at the Earls Court Arena in London, footage of which was released in 2003, on the Led Zeppelin DVD.

Following these triumphant Earls Court appearances Led Zeppelin took a holiday and planned a series of outdoor summer concerts in America, scheduled to open with two dates in San Francisco. These plans were thwarted in August 1975 when Robert Plant and his wife Maureen were involved in a serious car crash while on holiday in Rhodes, Greece. Robert suffered a broken ankle and Maureen was badly injured; a blood transfusion saved her life. Unable to tour, Plant headed to the channel island of Jersey to spend August and September recuperating, with Bonham and Page in tow. The band then reconvened in Malibu, California. It was during this forced hiatus that much of the material for their next album, Presence, was written.

By this time, Led Zeppelin were the world's number one rock attraction, having outsold most bands of the time, including the Rolling Stones. Presence, released in March 1976, marked a change in the Led Zeppelin sound towards more straightforward, guitar-based jams, departing from the acoustic ballads and intricate arrangements featured on their previous albums. Though it was a platinum seller, Presence received mixed responses from critics and fans and some speculated the band's legendary excesses may have caught up with them. The recording of Presence coincided with the beginning of Page's heroin use, which may have interfered with Led Zeppelin's later live shows and studio recordings, although Page has denied this. Despite the original criticisms, Jimmy Page has called Presence his favourite album, and its opening track "Achilles Last Stand" (sample (info)) his favourite Led Zeppelin song. In an interview with a Swedish TV program, Plant stated that Presence is the album that sounds the most "Led Zeppelin" of all their LPs.

Plant's injuries prevented Led Zeppelin from touring in 1976. Instead, the band finally completed the concert film The Song Remains The Same, and the soundtrack album of the film. The recording had taken place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in July 1973, during the band's concert tour of the United States. The film premiered in New York on 20 October 1976, but was given a lukewarm reception by critics and fans. The film was particularly unsuccessful in the UK, where, after being unwilling to tour since 1975 due to a taxation exile, Led Zeppelin were facing an uphill battle to recapture the public spotlight at home.

In 1977, Led Zeppelin embarked on another major concert tour of North America. Here the band set another attendance record, with 76,229 people attending their Pontiac Silverdome concert on 30 April. It was, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest attendance to date for a single act show. However, though it was financially profitable, the tour was beset with off-stage problems. On 3 June a concert at Tampa Stadium was cut short because of a severe thunderstorm, despite tickets printed with "Rain or Shine". A riot broke out amongst the audience, resulting in several arrests and injuries.

After a 23 July show at the "Day on the Green" festival at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, John Bonham and members of the band's support staff (including manager Peter Grant and security coordinator John Bindon) were arrested after a member of promoter Bill Graham's staff was badly beaten during the performance. A member of the staff had allegedly slapped Grant's son when he was taking down a dressing room sign. This was seen by John Bonham, who came over and kicked the man. Then, when Grant heard about this, he went into the trailer, along with Bindon and assaulted the man while tour manager Richard Cole stood outside and guarded the trailer. The following day's second Oakland concert would prove to be the band's final live appearance in the United States. Two days later, as the band checked in at a French Quarter hotel for their 30 July performance at the Louisiana Superdome, news came that Plant's five year old son, Karac, had died from a stomach virus. The rest of the tour was immediately cancelled, prompting widespread speculation about the band's future.

November 1978 saw the group recording again, this time at Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. The resultant album was In Through the Out Door, which exhibited a degree of sonic experimentation that again drew mixed reactions from critics. Nevertheless, the band still commanded legions of loyal fans, and the album easily reached #1 in the UK and the U.S. in just its second week on the Billboard album chart. As a result of this album's release, Led Zeppelin's entire catalogue made the Billboard Top 200 between the weeks of 27 October and 3 November 1979.

In August 1979, after two warm-up shows in Copenhagen, Denmark, Led Zeppelin headlined two concerts at the Knebworth Music Festival, where crowds of close to 120,000 witnessed the return of the band. However, Plant was not eager to tour full-time again, and even considered leaving Led Zeppelin. He was persuaded to stay by Peter Grant. A brief, low-key European tour was undertaken in June and July 1980, featuring a stripped-down set without the usual lengthy jams and solos. At one show on 27 June, in Nuremberg, Germany, the concert came to an abrupt end in the middle of the third song when John Bonham collapsed on stage and was rushed to a hospital. Press speculation arose that Bonham's problem was caused by an excess of alcohol and drugs, but the band claimed that he had simply overeaten, and they completed the European tour on 7 July, at Berlin.

On 24 September 1980, Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios for the upcoming tour of the United States, the band's first since 1977, scheduled to commence on 17 October. During the journey Bonham had asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas (450 ml), with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant, "Breakfast". He continued to drink heavily when he arrived at the studio. A halt was called to the rehearsals late in the evening and the band retired to Page's house — The Old Mill House in Clewer, Windsor. After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and was taken to bed and placed on his side. At 1:45 pm the next day Benji LeFevre (who had replaced Richard Cole as Led Zeppelin's tour manager) and John Paul Jones found him dead. Bonham was 32 years old. The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit, and a verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest held on 27 October. An autopsy found no other drugs in Bonham's body. Bonham was cremated on 10 October 1980, at Rushock parish church in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England.

In 1982, the surviving members of the group released a collection of out-takes from various sessions during Led Zeppelin's career, entitled Coda. It included two tracks taken from the band's performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970, one each from the Led Zeppelin III and Houses of the Holy sessions, and three from the In Through the Out Door sessions. It also featured a 1976 John Bonham drum instrumental with electronic effects added by Jimmy Page, called "Bonzo's Montreux".

On 13 July 1985, Page, Plant and Jones reunited for the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, playing a short set featuring drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins and bassist Paul Martinez. Collins had contributed to Plant's first two solo albums while Martinez was a member of Plant's current solo band. However, the performance was marred by the lack of rehearsal with the two drummers, Page's struggles with an out-of-tune Les Paul and poorly-functioning monitors, and by Plant's hoarse voice. Page himself has described the performance as "pretty shambolic", while Plant was even less charitable, characterising it as an "atrocity". When Live Aid footage was released on a four-DVD set in late 2004 to raise money for Sudan, the group unanimously agreed not to allow footage from their performance to be used, asserting that it was not up to their standard. However, to demonstrate their ongoing support for the campaign Page and Plant pledged proceeds from their forthcoming Page and Plant DVD release and John Paul Jones pledged the proceeds of his then-current US tour with Mutual Admiration Society to the project.

The three members reunited again in May 1988, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, with Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, on drums. However, the reunion was again compromised by a disjointed performance, particularly by Plant and Page (the two having argued immediately prior to coming on stage about whether to play "Stairway to Heaven"), and by the complete loss of Jones' keyboards on the live television feed. Page later described the performance as "one big disappointment", and Plant said unambiguously that "the gig was foul".

The first Led Zeppelin box set of the nineties, featuring tracks remastered under the personal supervision of Jimmy Page, introduced the band's music to many new fans, thus stimulating something of a renaissance for Led Zeppelin. This set also included four previously unreleased tracks, including the Robert Johnson tribute "Travelling Riverside Blues", which was released as a single in the US. The song was a huge hit, with the video in heavy rotation on MTV. 1992 saw the release of the "Immigrant Song" b/w "Hey Hey What Can I Do" (the original b-side) as a CD single in the United States. The second box set was released in 1993; the two box sets together containing all known studio recordings, as well as some rare live tracks.

In 1994, Page and Plant reunited in the form of a 90 minute "UnLedded" MTV project. They later released an album called No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded, which featured some reworked Led Zeppelin songs, and embarked on a world tour the following year. This is said to be the beginning of the inner rift between the band members, as Jones was not even told of the reunion. When asked where Jones was, Plant had replied that he was out "parking the car".

On 12 January 1995, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the United States Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Aerosmith's vocalist, Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry. Jason and Zoe Bonham also attended, representing their late father. At the induction ceremony, the band's inner rift became apparent when Jones joked upon accepting his award, "Thank you, my friends, for finally remembering my phone number", causing consternation and awkward looks from Page and Plant. Afterwards, they played a brief set with Tyler and Perry (featuring Jason Bonham on drums), and with Neil Young and Michael Lee replacing Bonham.

On 29 August 1997, Atlantic released a single edit of "Whole Lotta Love" in the U.S. and the UK, making it the only Led Zeppelin UK CD single. Additional tracks on this CD-single are "Baby Come On Home" and "Travelling Riverside Blues". It is the only single the band ever released in the UK. It peaked at #21. 11 November 1997 saw the release of Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions, the first Led Zeppelin album in fifteen years. The two-disc set included almost all of the band's recordings for the BBC. Page and Plant released another album called Walking into Clarksdale in 1998, featuring all new material. However, the album wasn't as successful as No Quarter, and the band slowly dissolved.

On 29 November 1999 the RIAA announced that the band were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums. In 2002, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones reconciled after years of strife that kept the band apart. This was followed by rumours of reunion, quickly quashed by individual members' representatives. 2003 saw the release of a triple live album, How the West Was Won, and a video collection, Led Zeppelin DVD, both featuring material from the band's heyday. By the end of the year, the DVD had sold more than 520,000 copies.

Led Zeppelin were ranked #14 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and the following year the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In November 2005, it was announced that Led Zeppelin and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev were the winners of the 2006 Polar Music Prize. The King of Sweden presented the prize to Plant, Page, and Jones, along with John Bonham's daughter, in Stockholm in May 2006. In November 2006, Led Zeppelin were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. The television broadcasting of the event consisted of an introduction to the band by various famous admirers, a presentation of an award to Jimmy Page and then a short speech by the guitarist. After this, rock group Wolfmother played a tribute to Led Zeppelin, performing the song "Communication Breakdown".

On 27 July 2007, Atlantic/Rhino, & Warner Home Video announced three new Led Zeppelin titles to be released in November, 2007. Released first was Mothership on 13 November, a 24-track best-of spanning the band's career, followed by a reissue of the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same on 20 November which includes previously unreleased material, and a new DVD. On 15 October 2007, it was reported that Led Zeppelin were expected to announce a new series of agreements that make the band's songs available as legal digital downloads, first as ringtones through Verizon Wireless then as digital downloads of the band's eight studio albums and other recordings on 13 November. The offerings will be available through both Verizon Wireless and iTunes. On 3 November 2007, a UK newspaper the Daily Mirror announced that it had world exclusive rights to stream six previously unreleased tracks via its website. On 8 November 2007, XM Satellite Radio launched XM LED, the network's first artist-exclusive channel dedicated to Led Zeppelin. On 13 November 2007, Led Zeppelin's complete works were published on iTunes.

Following the reunion concert and the press coverage it generated, speculation on the future of the band and the possibility of a tour with Jason Bonham on drums increased to a level not seen in several years. In an interview promoting the release of the Mothership compilation in Tokyo early in 2008, Jimmy Page revealed that he was prepared to embark upon a world tour with Led Zeppelin, but due to Robert Plant's tour commitments with Alison Krauss, such plans will not be announced until at least September. Showing enthusiasm for continued performing, in late spring Page and Jones joined Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins onstage at Wembley Stadium to perform Led Zeppelin tracks "Rock and Roll" (Hawkins on vocals and Grohl on drums), followed by "Ramble On" (Grohl on vocals and Hawkins on drums).

Following Plant's statement, authoritative but divergent views of the possibility of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour the next year were offered by John Paul Jones and promoter Harvey Goldsmith. In late October, Jones confirmed to BBC Radio Devon in Exeter that he, Page, and Bonham were seeking a replacement for Plant. The bassist remarked: "We are trying out a couple of singers. We want to do it. It's sounding great and we want to get on and get out there." The next day, Goldsmith commented on the prospect of a Led Zeppelin reunion, casting doubt on the possibility or wisdom of such a venture. In an interview with BBC News, Goldsmith stated "I think that there is an opportunity for them to go out and present themselves. I don't think a long rambling tour is the answer as Led Zeppelin." The Ertegün Concert promoter felt the result of the ongoing plans of Jones, Page, and Bonham would not be "called Led Zeppelin". A spokesman for guitarist Jimmy Page later confirmed this, telling RollingStone.com that a new band featuring Page, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham would not go by the name Led Zeppelin due to the absence of singer Robert Plant.

Also noteworthy is Cadillac's use of "Rock and Roll" in their US TV advertising campaign. Recently, Led Zeppelin have agreed to allow Apple to sell their music in Apple's iTunes Store, with the greatest hits collection Mothership as the marquee offering.

In April 2007, Hard Rock Park (now Freestyle Music Park) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, announced it had secured an agreement with the band to create "Led Zeppelin - The Ride", a roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, synchronised to the music of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". The coaster stands 155 feet (47 m) tall, features six inversions, and spirals over a lagoon. The ride officially opened with the park on May 9, 2008. The ride is currently "Standing but not operating" (SBNO) due to Hard Rock Park filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In January 2009, the park filed for Chapter 7. In February 2009, the park was sold to new owners FPI MB Entertainment hoping to reopen by Memorial Day 2009.

The credits for Led Zeppelin II were the subject of some debate after the album's release. The prelude to "Bring It On Home" is a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bring It On Home" and drew comparisons with Willie Dixon's "Bring It On Back". "Whole Lotta Love" (sample (info)) contains lyrics that are derivative of Dixon's "You Need Love/Woman You Need Love", though the riff from the song was an original Jimmy Page composition. In the 1970s, Arc Music, the publishing arm of Chess Records, brought a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Bring It On Home"; the case was settled out of court. Dixon himself did not benefit until he sued Arc Music to recover his royalties and copyrights. Sixteen years later, Dixon filed suit against Led Zeppelin over "Whole Lotta Love" and an out-of-court settlement was reached. Later pressings of Led Zeppelin II credit Dixon. Similarly, the "Lemon Song", from the same album, included an adaptation of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor". The band and Chester Burnett reached an out-of-court settlement to give co-credit to the author of the original song.

Dave Headlam, in an article entitled "Does the song remain the same? Questions of authenticity and identification in the music of Led Zeppelin", suggests that "...in the course of studies on the music of Led Zeppelin, it has become apparent that many songs are compilations of pre-existent material from multiple sources, both acknowledged and unacknowledged." He contends that "...songs like 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Dazed and Confused' are on the one hand not "authored" by Led Zeppelin, but traditional lyrics..." However, noted blues author and producer Robert Palmer states "It is the custom, in blues music, for a singer to borrow verses from contemporary sources, both oral and recorded, add his own tune and/or arrangement, and call the song his own". Folklorist Carl Lindahl, refers to these recycling of lyrics in songs as "floating lyrics". He defines it within the folk-music tradition as "lines that have circulated so long in folk communities that tradition-steeped singers call them instantly to mind and rearrange them constantly, and often unconsciously, to suit their personal and community aesthetics".

The thing is they were traditional lyrics and they went back far before a lot of people that one related them to. The riffs we did were totally different, also, from the ones that had come before, apart from something like "You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You," which were attributed to Willie Dixon. The thing with "Bring It On Home," Christ, there's only a tiny bit taken from Sonny Boy Williamson's version and we threw that in as a tribute to him. People say, "Oh, 'Bring It On Home' is stolen." Well, there's only a little bit in the song that relates to anything that had gone before it, just the end.

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Howlin' Wolf

Howlin' Wolf.jpg

Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), better known as Howlin' Wolf, was an influential blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player.

With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Burnett is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; musician and critic Cub Koda declared, "no one could match for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits." Many songs popularized by Burnett—such as "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Back Door Man" and "Spoonful"—have become standards of blues and blues rock.

At 6 feet, 6 inches (198cm) and close to 300 pounds (136 kg), he was an imposing presence with one of the loudest and most memorable voices of all the "classic" 1950s Chicago blues singers. Howlin' Wolf's voice has been compared to "the sound of heavy machinery operating on a gravel road". Although the two were reportedly not that different in actual personality, this rough edged, slightly fearsome musical style is often contrasted with the less crude but still powerful presentation of his contemporary and professional rival, Muddy Waters, to describe the two pillars of the Chicago Blues representing the music.

Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Little Walter Jacobs and Muddy Waters are usually regarded in retrospect as the greatest blues artists who recorded for Chess in Chicago. Sam Phillips once remarked of Chester Arthur Burnett, "When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said, 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.' " In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #51 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Born in White Station, Mississippi, near West Point, he was named after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, and was nicknamed Big Foot Chester and Bull Cow in his early years because of his massive size. He explained the origin of the name Howlin' Wolf thus: "I got that from my grandfather ." He used to tell him stories about the wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved, they would "get him". As a youth he listened to Charley Patton, who taught him the rudiments of guitar, as well as to the Mississippi Sheiks, Tommy Johnson and Jimmie Rodgers, who was Wolf's childhood idol. Wolf tried to emulate Rodgers' "blue yodel", but found that his efforts sounded more like a growl or a howl. "I couldn't do no yodelin'," Barry Gifford quoted him as saying in Rolling Stone, "so I turned to howlin'. And it's done me just fine." His harmonica playing was modeled after that of Rice Miller (also known as Sonny Boy Williamson II), who had lived with his sister for a time and taught him how to play. He played with Robert Johnson and Willie Brown in his youth.

He farmed during the 1930s, served in the United States Army as a radioman in Seattle during World War II, and by 1948 had formed a band which included guitarists Willie Johnson and M. T. Murphy, harmonica player Junior Parker, a pianist remembered only as "Destruction" and drummer Willie Steele. He began broadcasting on KWEM in West Memphis, Arkansas, alternating between performing and pitching farm equipment, and auditioned for Sam Phillips's Memphis Recording Service in 1951.

According to the documentary film The Howlin' Wolf Story, Howlin' Wolf's parents broke up when he was young. His very religious mother Gertrude threw him out of the house while he was still a child for refusing to work around the farm; he then moved in with his uncle, Will Young, who treated him badly. When he was 13, he ran away and claimed to have walked 85 miles (137 km) barefoot to join his father, where he finally found a happy home within his father's large family. During the peak of his success, he returned from Chicago to his home town to see his mother again, but was driven to tears when she rebuffed him and refused to take any money he offered her, saying it was from his playing the "Devil's music".

Howlin' Wolf quickly became a local celebrity, and soon began working with a band that included Willie Johnson, and guitarist Pat Hare. His first recordings came in 1951, when he recorded sessions for both the Bihari brothers at Modern Records and Leonard Chess' Chess Records. Chess issued Howlin' Wolf's How Many More Years in August 1951; Wolf also recorded sides for Modern, with Ike Turner, in late 1951 and early 1952. Chess eventually won the war over the singer, and Wolf settled in Chicago, Illinois c. 1953. arriving in Chicago, he assembled a new band, recruiting Chicagoan Joseph Leon "Jody" Williams from Memphis Slim's band as his first guitarist. Within a year Wolf enticed guitarist Hubert Sumlin to leave Memphis and join him in Chicago; Sumlin's terse, curlicued solos perfectly complemented Burnett's huge voice and surprisingly subtle phrasing. Although the line up of Wolf's band would change regularly over the years, employing many different guitarists both on recordings and in live performance including Willie Johnson, Jody Williams, Lee Cooper, L.D. McGhee, Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers, his brother Abe "Little Smokey" Smothers, Jimmy Rogers, Freddie "Abu Talib" Robinson, and Buddy Guy, among others, with the exception of a couple of brief absences in the late '50s Sumlin remained a member of the band for the rest of Wolf's career, and is the guitarist most often associated with the Chicago Howlin' Wolf sound.

In the 1950s Wolf had four songs that qualified as "hits" on the Billboard national R&B charts: "How Many More Years", his first and biggest hit, made it to #4 in 1951; its flip side, "Moanin' at Midnight", made it to #10 the same year; "Smoke Stack Lightning" charted for three weeks in 1956, peaking at #8; and "I Asked For Water" appeared on the charts for one week in 1956, in the #8 position. In 1959, Wolf's first album, Moanin' in the Moonlight, a compilation of previously released singles, was released.

His 1962 album Howlin' Wolf is a famous and influential blues album, often referred to as "The Rocking Chair album" because of its cover illustration depicting an acoustic guitar leaning against a rocking chair. This album contained "Wang Dang Doodle", "Goin' Down Slow", "Spoonful", and "Little Red Rooster", songs which found their way into the repertoires of British and American bands infatuated with Chicago blues. In 1964 he toured Europe as part of the American Folk Blues Festival tour produced by German promoters Horst Lippmann and FriIn 1965 he appeared on the television show Shindig at the insistence of The Rolling Stones, who were scheduled to appear on the same program and who had covered "Little Red Rooster" on an early album. He was often backed on records by bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon who is credited with such Howlin' Wolf standards as "Spoonful", "I Ain't Superstitious", "Little Red Rooster", "Back Door Man", "Evil", "Wang Dang Doodle" (later recorded by Koko Taylor), and others.

In September, 1967, he joined forces with Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters for The Super Super Blues Band album of Chess blues standards, including "The Red Rooster" and "Spoonful".

In May 1970, Howlin' Wolf, his long-time guitarist Hubert Sumlin, and the young Chicago blues harmonica player Jeff Carp traveled to London along with Chess Records producer Norman Dayron to record the Howlin' Wolf London Sessions LP, accompanied by British blues/rock musicians Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and others. He recorded his last album for Chess, The Back Door Wolf, in 1973. Chess released a Howlin' Wolf compilation album, Chess Masters, in 1981.

Unlike many other blues musicians, after he left his impoverished childhood to begin a musical career, Howlin' Wolf was always financially successful. Having already achieved a measure of success in Memphis, he described himself as "the onliest one to drive himself up from the Delta" to Chicago, which he did, in his own car on the Blues Highway and with four thousand dollars in his pocket, a rare distinction for a black blues man of the time. In his early career, this was the result of his musical popularity and his ability to avoid the pitfalls of alcohol, gambling, and the various dangers inherent in what are vaguely described as "loose women", to which so many of his peers fell prey. Though functionally illiterate into his 40s, Burnett eventually returned to school, first to earn a G.E.D., and later to study accounting and other business courses aimed to help his business career.

Wolf met his future wife, Lillie, when she attended one of his performances in a Chicago club. She and her family were urban and educated, and not involved in what was generally seen as the unsavory world of blues musicians. Nonetheless, immediately attracted when he saw her in the audience as Wolf says he was, he pursued her and won her over. According to those who knew them, the couple remained deeply in love until his death. Together they raised Lillie's two daughters from an earlier relationship, Bettye and Barbara.

After he married Lillie, who was able to manage his professional finances, Wolf was so financially successful that he was able to offer band members not only a decent salary, but benefits such as health insurance; this in turn enabled him to hire his pick of the available musicians, and keep his band one of the best around. According to his daughters, he was never financially extravagant, for instance driving a Pontiac station wagon rather than a more expensive and flashy car.

Burnett died at Hines VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois, USA on January 10, 1976 and was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Hillside, Cook County, Illinois in a plot in Section 18, on the east side of the road. His large gravestone, allegedly purchased by Eric Clapton, has an image of a guitar and harmonica etched into it.

The Howlin' Wolf Memorial Blues Festival is held each year in West Point, Mississippi. Wolf's Juke Joint Jam is another annual Howlin' Wolf tribute festival held in West Point. Some of the artists who have played 'Wolf Jam' include Wolf's lead guitarist Hubert Sumlin, Muddy Waters' back band of Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones and "Steady Rollin" Bob Margolin, Willie King, Blind Mississippi Morris, Kenny Brown, Burnside Exploration, etc. The festival is held at the 500-acre (2.0 km2) festival grounds know as Waverly Waters Resort, and is sponsored by 2 Brothers Brand barbecue sauce and seasonings.

Burnett was portrayed by Eamonn Walker in the 2008 motion picture Cadillac Records.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed three songs by Howlin' Wolf of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.

On September 17, 1994 the U.S. Post Office issued a Howlin' Wolf 29 cents commemorative postage stamp.

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Source : Wikipedia