Ever since the 2008 debut of the movie Cadillac Records, starring Adrien Brody, Cedric the Entertainer, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, Columbus Short as Little Walter, Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, and bad boy Eamonn Walker as Howlin’ Wolf, the music world has fallen in love with Howlin’ Wolf all over again.

Although many of his songs were written by bluesman Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf also wrote his own music. He penned such  raw classics as “Killing Floor,” “Moanin’ at Midnight,” and the unforgettable croon in this clip, “Smokestack Lightning.”

Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett was born on June 10, 1910 in White Station Mississippi and died on January 10, 1976. As you can imagine, a world of living happened between those two dates, but since there are many websites that delve into the life of Howlin’ Wolf, we won’t attempt to do that here. We only offer one of his most monumental songs: Smoke Stack Lightning.

To learn more about the life and times of Howlin’ Wolf, visit these sites:

Official Howlin’ Wolf Site

Howlin’ Wolf Photos

Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famers

In the meantime, enjoy this clip of Howlin’ Wolf singing Smoke Stack Lightning live in England in 1964.

Also, here are the original lyrics to Smoke Stack Lightning. Howlin’ Wolf sang several versions of this song, which is why some of the verses in this clip differ from the lyrics below.

Ah, oh, smokestack lightning
Shinin’, just like gold
Why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Ah, whoo hoo, ooh…

Whoa, oh, tell me, baby
What’s the, matter with you?
Why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo

Whoa, oh, tell me, baby
Where did ya, stay last night?
A-why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo

Whoa, oh, stop your train, darlin’,
Let a poor boy ride
Why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Whoo hoo, whoo hoo

Whoa, oh, fare ya well
Never see, ah, you no more
Ah, why don’t ya hear me cryin’?
Ooh, whoo hoo, whoo hoo

Whoa, oh, who been here baby since
I, I been gone, a little, bitty boy?
Girl, be on
Ah, whoo hoo, whoo hoo

Songwriter(s): Chester Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf)
Copyright: Arc Music Corp


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