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Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf
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Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  269 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Howlin’ Wolf was a musical giant in every way. He stood six foot three, weighed almost three hundred pounds, wore size sixteen shoes, and poured out his darkest sorrows onstage in a voice like a raging chainsaw. Half a century after his first hits, his sound still terrifies and inspires.

Born Chester Burnett in 1910, the Wolf survived a grim childhood and hardscrabble youth
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Pantheon
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John Gilbert
May 11, 2012 John Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book about Howlin' Wolf you're ever going to read, turned him from one of my favorite blues musicians to one of the most important figures in American music. Man, what a voice! He was a walking contradiction: nearly illiterate, yet always trying to better himself through adult education classes later in his life, he left an oppressive home as a young man, yet still thought he could make up with his mother, who never would accept him for playing the "devil's music."

Howlin' Wolf
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Winter Sophia Rose
Oct 03, 2015 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Insightful, Deep & Inspirational! An Extraordinary Read! I Loved It!
John Tessitore
Sep 07, 2015 John Tessitore rated it really liked it
It stands to reason that this book should get better as it progresses.

The lives of the blues masters are so shrouded in mystery and mythology, so subsumed in poverty and clouded by the inarticulate witnesses, that their biographers can only race through their early years, as quickly as possible, in order to get to the reliable archives--letters, interviews, television footage--before they commit new frauds. The delta mists are just too thick to penetrate. In the case of Howlin' Wolf, the fog fo
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Stew
Dec 28, 2008 Stew rated it it was ok
I had to read the biography of my all time favorite blues artist.
And I did slog through it. But it was hard.
The authors did a lot of research but all those little numbers floating around at the end of sentences made it look like a dry history book.
They wrote it like they wanted tenure at a college. In other words, they approached Howlin Wolf's story like a boring history professor.
I wish someone with some flare could have taken on this project.
Mike
Jan 03, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
A deeply intimate look at one of the giants of American roots music, and a true master of the blues. The early life of the outsized Howlin' Wolf would have killed many a person, but he persevered to create a sound as distinct, influential, and meaningful as any artist in the 20th Century.

While this book rambles and roams at times, it is filled with incredible anecdotes and portraits not just of the Wolf, but also his musical contemporaries like Muddy Waters and his brilliant band members. This m
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Aggie
Oct 14, 2015 Aggie rated it it was amazing
An amazing read! Howling Wolf was such an interesting individual and a great artist of the blues. The authors did a superb job of telling Chester Burnette's story: the good, the bad, and all of the ugliness of it. Howlin was rather a tragic figure, a proud man who made it through life basically illiterate, but with enormous gumption and talent. The more I read the more I liked him, and I definitely love his music!!! I have a lot of blues biographies to read, but so far this is my favorite. I can ...more
Eric Stone
Aug 14, 2013 Eric Stone rated it really liked it
I recently moved from Los Angeles to Clarksdale, Mississippi and it is to some extent the fault of Howlin' Wolf. I first heard him when I was 12 and my reaction at the time was: "What the hell is that? That's amazing!" It started a lifelong love of the blues. In turn that led me here for the first time, as Clarksdale is arguably the homeland of the blues. (Well, the ancestral homeland is Africa, but...) Once the music led me here I fell in love with the whole place and here I am a number of year ...more
Jeff
Feb 17, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it
Moanin’ at Midnight: the Life & Times of Howlin’ Wolf by James Segrest & Mark Hoffman

Chester Burnett, nicknamed Wolf by his grandfather who told him the wolves would get him if he misbehaved, grew up with an abusive uncle and a mother who threw him out of her house when he was 13 and disowned him for playing “devil’s music” even after he became a well known, professional musician. He was able to escape that life, find his father and meet blues artist Charlie Patton who inspired and influ
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Phil Doherty
Oct 10, 2014 Phil Doherty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, biography

An extraordinary story of a man who began his life in near slavery conditions. A man who was rejected by his mother for singing "the Devil's music" and made his own way in life on his own terms.
Howlin' Wolf was unique and his music still resonates today in a variety of musical genres ranging from Hip Hop to Blues, from R 'n B to punk. An outstanding biography that left me wanting more.
Art
May 28, 2015 Art marked it as to-read
Shelves: memoir, music, chicago, history
From a sharecropper history in The Delta, Howlin' Wolf brought a rough and rocking blues to Chicago. He treated his backup musicians well, including health insurance, which was very rare for players then. It is easy to find clips of him performing his raw and often funny tunes. That's what I know now, before making time to read this biography. Pairs well with music!
Mark Johnson
As much as you can handle

THE definitive story of one of the greatest ever. If you only know the London Sessions, buckle up and dig in for a ride with the Wolf all the way from the country roads of Mississippi to Michigan Avenue. A giant in American music that should be required reading.
T.l. Harris
Mar 15, 2016 T.l. Harris rated it really liked it
A fun story! Howlin' Wolf is one of the most compelling musicians of his era, and his back story is equally fascinating.
Chris Bertagnole
Apr 12, 2014 Chris Bertagnole rated it it was amazing
A fine book on Howlin' Wolf. I would recommend an ass pocket of whiskey and a pistol, because this is the real deal... Nothin' but the blues!
Robyn
Jul 17, 2014 Robyn marked it as to-read
Illinois
Mark
Jan 31, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
Simply the best book on The Wolf. I don't think there are any others devoted only to him. I know he is mentioned in other books but this is all about Chester A. Burnett. The best Blues singer of all time.

The book gave great detail about his life and how he impacted the music scene at the time and the people that followed.
Tony Ferguson
May 13, 2016 Tony Ferguson rated it really liked it
This is the definitive account and extremely well researched and written.
Robin Webster
Feb 12, 2012 Robin Webster rated it really liked it
Oh how I love these books about the great blues men. This is an insightful book which in my view is a must for anyone interested in the Chicago Blues scene in the 40's and early 50's
Graham Tennyson
Apr 14, 2015 Graham Tennyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Astonishingly good book about the Wolf. Full of stories related in the vernacular. The voices start to echo in your head and leave you emerged in a wonderful world.
George
Oct 02, 2015 George rated it it was amazing
A truly amazing book about the most influential artist of the Blues.
Mary
Mar 31, 2010 Mary rated it it was ok
Interestign story, but the book was a little hard to read.
Paul
Feb 03, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Excellent read about my favorite bluesman.
Steve
May 21, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
Great book for anyone interested in the Wolf.
Alton
Nov 06, 2008 Alton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Blues fans
Recommended to Alton by: JD
must read for fans of the Blues
Shannon
Shannon marked it as to-read
May 30, 2016
Trevor Barton
Trevor Barton marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
Wayne Perkins
Wayne Perkins rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2016
Richard Robinson
Richard Robinson rated it really liked it
May 16, 2016
Andrew
Andrew marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Jennee
Jennee marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Stephanie
Stephanie marked it as to-read
May 28, 2016
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