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Charley PattonVoice of the Mississippi Delta$
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Robert Sacré

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496816139

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496816139.001.0001

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Memories of Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett and Willie Johnson

Memories of Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett and Willie Johnson

(p.165) Memories of Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett and Willie Johnson
Charley Patton

Dick Shurman

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter begins by looking at the musical link between Charley Patton and one of his musical protegés, Chester Burnett, the Howlin' Wolf. Of course, Wolf was a product of the Mississippi Delta blues tradition, with personal contact with Patton and a strong Tommy Johnson influence. Wolf recorded Patton's “Pony Blues” as “Saddle My Pony,” and later did a classic version of “Spoonful” more related through vocal style than lyrics. It's easy to hear Patton's growl in Wolf's vocals, and some of Patton's clowning obviously left a strong impression on young Chester. The chapter then focuses on Willie Johnson, which was one of Howlin' Wolf's best-known associates in the South and Chicago, and one of the most electrifying and exciting guitarists of the 1950s.

Keywords:   Charley Patton, Chester Burnett, Howlin' Wolf, Mississippi Delta blues, vocal style, Willie Johnson

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