Howlin’ Wolf

1910–1976

Learned to play and entertain from Patton himself and went on to record Patton’s Saddle My Pony in 1959.

Like Robert Johnson, Pops Staples and Honeyboy Edwards, Howlin Wolf was in the younger generation of musicians who developed their musical style at Dockery Farms. These musicians all performed and learned from each other during their early careers, later branching out and developing different styles and creating new music scenes outside the Delta.

Born Chester Arthur Burnett, Howlin Wolf went on to become one of the most influential musicians in the Chicago Blues, which had its roots in the Mississippi Delta. Wolf learned to play guitar from Charley Patton and later fondly recalled the musicians tutelage in showmanship. "When [Patton] played his guitar, he would turn it over backwards and forwards, and throw it around over his shoulders, between his legs, throw it up in the sky."

Wolf later said, "The first piece I ever played in my life was a tune about hook up my pony and saddle up my black mare," referring to Patton’s Pony Blues.  

  

Sources: Robert Palmer's definitive Deep Blues, Wikipedia, AllMusic, NPR's Take Five, The Mississippi Blues Trail, and Dr. David Evans.