HOWLIN’ WOLF Memphis Days – The Definitive Edition, Vols. 1 & 2 – UPGRADED!

Memphis Days – The Definitive Edition, Vols. 1 & 2
The Wolf’s First Recordings For Sun Records, 1951/1952

UPGRADED 2009 POST! After decades of listening to Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits, sometimes you just gotta go directly to the source. For Chester Burnett, this is where it all began – in Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios, circa 1951/1952, where a.k.a. Howlin’ Wolf first cut these raw, downright scary blues sides. The All Music Guide calls Wolf’s performances here “utterly demonic,” featuring “the amp on 11 guitar work of Willie Johnson and cave-man drumming of Willie Steele.” Chester’s howlin’ blues is still an earful today, so just imagine what the punters back in the 50s must have thought. Another example of Sam Phillips’ unmatched ability to see the future… and his total lack of business sense to get stinking rich from his visions. There’s more Wolf in the archives (HERE). Vol. 1 (HERE) and Vol. 2 (HERE) are at Amazon.

Memphis Days – The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1
Oh Red (Take 1) (2:46)
My Last Affair (Take 1) (3:05)
Come Back Home (Take 1) (2:37)
California Boogie (3:00)
California Blues (2:58)
Look-A-Here Baby (2:11)
Smile At Me (2:06)
My Baby Walked Off (3:01)
DrinkinCv Wine (Cv Wine Blues) (3:08)
My Troubles And Me (3:18)
Chocolate Drop (2:43)
Mr. Highway Man (Cadillac Daddy) (2:28)
Bluebird Blues (2:50)
Color And Kind (3:12)
(Everybody’s) In The Mood (3:00)
Dorothy Mae (Number 2) (2:39)
I Got A Woman – Sweet Woman (3:29)
Decoration Day Blues (3:17)
(Well) That’s All Right (3:03)
How Many More Years (2:51)
Baby Ride With Me (Ridin‘ In The Moonlight) (2:56)

Memphis Days – The Definitive Edition, Vol. 2
Baby Ride With Me (Ridin‘ in the Moonlight) (2:44)
How Many More Years (2:43)
Moanin‘ at Midnight (2:57)
Howlin‘ Wolf Boogie (2:39)
Wolf Is at Your Door (3:01)
Mr. Highway Man (2:49)
Getting Old and Grey (2:39)
Worried All the Time (3:09)
Saddle My Pony (Gonna Find My Baby Out In World Somewhere) (2:34)
Oh, Red! (2:38)
My Last Affair (2:59)
Come Back Home (Take 2) (2:35)
Dorothy Mae (2:45)
Oh, Red! (Take 2) (2:42)
Come Back Home (Take 3) (2:12)
How Many More Years (2:32)
How Many More Years (2:30)
Baby Ride With Me (Ridin‘ in the Moonlight) (2:38)
Baby Ride With Me (Ridin‘ in the Moonlight) (2:35)


  • Paul McClelland
    March 27, 2009 - 22:44 | Permalink

    How great sounding is that? It sounds like they ran his voice thru a cheap guitar amp, put the treble on 10, and miked the amp. Very good feel to the recordings.

  • winkingtiger
    March 27, 2009 - 22:48 | Permalink

    I saw this post and my jaw dropped! Willard, you are THE MAN!


    Howlin' Wolf Freak From Way Back, WT.

  • Trustar
    March 28, 2009 - 02:22 | Permalink

    Thanks much for the fine tunage.



  • Art Ducko
    March 28, 2009 - 08:41 | Permalink

    Yes, Willard, you've tapped into the Source tonight. The Wolf was a force of nature; Sam Phillips' genius was to recognize & run with it. He always said that besides Elvis, this was his greatest discovery. Truly scary stuff, it just goes to show you that there is something in the water of the Delta that brings out the primordial Hootchie-Coo in the weirdest of ways. Thank God for Howlin' Wolf, but Lord, don't let me hear him in a dark alley.

  • Johnny Vandal
    March 28, 2009 - 14:37 | Permalink

    This is perhaps the most "pure" music Howlin Wolf ever made. When he landed on the Chess label, things got a bit more professional what with the access to material by numero uno tunesmith Willie Dixon. While I've always enjoyed the Chess sides, the Sun material seems to be a raw look at a great artists that deepens one's appreciation with each passing listen. Play it again, Sam.

  • Record Fiend
    March 28, 2009 - 19:22 | Permalink

    Capt. Willard:

    I've been enjoying your blog for some time now and wanted to give you proper respect for this excellent post in addition to all the other ones. Among the numerous items you've turned me on to, I am especially enjoying the super-fine "Doors of Perception" comp you put up on Feb. 25. I really like the fact that you take the time to write your thoughts about particular albums and express them with, to sorta borrow a familiar phrase, extreme but enlightened prejudice. Keep up the great work, and maybe I'll see you around in the Mekong Delta sometime.



  • Capt. Willard
    March 28, 2009 - 20:00 | Permalink

    That's very kind, thanks. I clicked on your profile and saw that you're up to the same kind of thing over at your place… except with far more obscure releases. Looks like I'll need to spend some time at your house this weekend ( Thanks for the contact and the kind words. Thanks to all for the comments.

  • redsock
    March 29, 2009 - 16:18 | Permalink

    Wolf = Essential.

  • Anonymous
    March 30, 2009 - 12:50 | Permalink

    Good to sneak some blues in we all seem to like the Blues as well Nice one as always

  • jointathan
    March 31, 2009 - 02:33 | Permalink

    This is really great! I didn't know this early Wolf stuff existed. Great band, too. Thank you so very much!

  • Capt. Willard
    April 2, 2009 - 04:06 | Permalink

    Thanks for commenting, all.

  • Anonymous
    April 2, 2009 - 20:51 | Permalink

    This is primal stuff. Thanks!

  • Anonymous
    April 27, 2009 - 04:28 | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir, for so much music…

    I was fortunate to be able to see Willie Johnson perform a few numbers in Chicago years ago and while 70+ he was great. Wolf's Memphis cuts are essential.

  • Anonymous
    May 31, 2009 - 21:36 | Permalink

    Oh my god, I was looking so hard for his early stuff, and found this on a google search, thanx soooo much dude

  • Anonymous
    July 19, 2009 - 04:04 | Permalink

    Hi Willard

    I am new to this site but will certainly revist with quality shares like the great HOWLIN WOLF.Sensational stuff



  • Capt. Willard
    July 19, 2009 - 04:13 | Permalink

    Cool… many thanks.

  • ribonucleic
    August 22, 2009 - 18:59 | Permalink

    Easily one of the 10 most musically valuable shares I've ever found. My sincere gratitude.

  • Anonymous
    November 4, 2009 - 20:15 | Permalink

    Johnny Kinkdom sez: I met the Wolf back in Chicago in 1970, after a show at a club I have forgotten on the Southside. A magic night made even better when he told me and my friends to go fuck ourselves since we couldn't possibly understand the blues cuz we were just a couple of white college kids living off daddy's wallet. I listen to CB nearly every day and his works only seem to get better by the listen. Thanks so much for this post.

  • Capt. Willard
    November 8, 2009 - 17:32 | Permalink

    Find them both HERE

  • SirCaustic
    January 17, 2010 - 16:10 | Permalink

    Thank you very much. HW is one of my all time faves.

  • Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 - 18:45 | Permalink

    Sam Phillips once told me that the Wolf had the greatest presence of any performer ib his studio, says it all really,life enhancing music, thanks Cap

  • Lee
    October 11, 2011 - 23:19 | Permalink

    Thanks, W!

    Back in the early 90s I worked at a Tower Records in Boston. We got in a shipment of some quasi-legal boots and a Howling Wolf live set was in the bunch. Man, that was a great cd. Wish I could track that one down…

  • Anonymous
    February 9, 2012 - 20:01 | Permalink

    Very nice! Except Sam Phillips actually had very good business sense and actually made more money of his good investments (like Holiday Inn) than from Sun.

  • sluggo
    May 23, 2014 - 11:32 | Permalink

    bought these quite awhile aqo..the Wolf..say no more…!
    great stuff willard!thanks for your blog.

  • piece of cake
    October 5, 2014 - 20:11 | Permalink

    Outstanding blog and another wonderful share. I visit often, but regretfully have only now gotten around to commenting. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this. You have brought back alot of great memories of music I had forgotten and turned me on to some great tunes I had never heard. It is all greatly appreciated and I will try to remember to join this awesome group of music lovers who regularly voice their appreciation. Thanks again, Capt. Willard!

  • MuddyT
    October 6, 2014 - 01:57 | Permalink

    Thanks for the 320. The previous 196VBR (?) was nice too. This is just a little bit nicer.

  • Steve626
    October 6, 2014 - 15:26 | Permalink


    I thought I’d add a little live Wolf to the gumbo! This is an audience recording from Cambridge, MA in 1966 – little rough, but the best live Wolf that exists and in 320. A shorter and crappier version of this has been released on CD, but this has more songs and is higher quality, so to speak. An absolute must for anyone who even sorta likes the Wolf. Enjoy!

    Howlin’ Wolf – 1966-05-xx Club 47, Cambridge, MA

  • peacenik
    October 8, 2014 - 14:50 | Permalink

    Thanks for the upgrade Cap’n! this is essential music.

  • October 19, 2014 - 21:37 | Permalink

    The killerest. Thanks again, Willard……..

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