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Howlin’ On An Open Thread


Robert Spencer here with a timeless classic from the towering bluesman Howlin’ Wolf, “Killing Floor.” Led Zeppelin ripped off this song shamelessly in their “Lemon Song,” but — as is so often the case — the original is much better.

Howlin’ Wolf, Mr. Chester Arthur Burnett, recorded this song several times, but here is a live version offering a rare opportunity to see him in action. He was a massive individual with a huge personality, and a giant of American music.

  • tn_tea _ partyer_420

    I don’t know about better, but it was rather entertaining. The man definitely had charisma. But it is a blatant rip-off I hope the family got a few bucks.

  • Sonokar

    Seriously, what is wrong with copying somebody else’s music and making it your own? People buy what they like. I didn’t particularly enjoy this man’s performance but that’s just me. I really like Led Zep so given a choice I would purchase their version of his song.
    Actually, I don’t purchase music anymore because it’s so easy to download for free.

    • VLParker

      It’s called stealing.

      • Sonokar

        Stealing is when I take posession; copying is when I make my own version.
        Copyright violations are a fake crime created by the lawyers.

        • VLParker

          Bullshirt. Led Zeppelin stole someone else’s intellectual property, changed the name and claimed it as their own. They gave no credit or compensation to the owner of the intellectual property.

          You illegally made a copy of someone else’s intellectual property without paying for it. That’s stealing. First grade ethics, not to mention common sense.

          • Sonokar

            “Intellectual Property” is something that lawyers pulled out of their a$$. It’s no more real than a Corporation’s Civil Rights (also made up by lawyers.)
            “First Grade Ethics” is something you pulled out of your ass.
            Common sense is irrelevant in this context, idiot.

          • VLParker

            So, if you write a song and someone else steals it and makes a fortune off of it and doesn’t compensate you or give you credit you’re going to just let it slide right? I didn’t think so. Idiot.

          • Sonokar

            Yes. Music is art. Art is free unless commissioned by a collector. Grow up and get a job.

  • livingengine
  • Pantalones

    I always thought he was a real wolf wtf

    • Generalpatern

      No he was a real MAN, Chester Arthur Burnett.

  • Generalpatern

    Im Blues to my toes, and a big Wolf fan, but Killin floor is far from his best, when you compare to the early tracks a savage swing to them, great piano from Willie Steel or Willie Johnson I think, as he had in early days a guitarist called Willie too, what a band, hear Drivin this Highway, or Youll be around, the early Sun sides, and even earlier sides made across the river in Braggs Spur (West Memphis). Look out for the Lewis, Johnson Combo tracks too on Sun.

  • Alleged Comment

    There are lot of songs and singers you never heard of that sing IMO songs that should be “up there”.

    For instance Kelly Clarkson sings and makes the song “Shake it Off” (which needed an introduction) better than Taylor Swift. Lot of songs sung in Simon’s talent show sing extremely well.

    There is that Negro blues singer who sings “You Are About To Lose Your Clown” which I never heard of, but thought this should have been a big hit somewhere. Became one of my favorites. First heard it on You Tube by accident.

    I have asked that Simon compile the best songs in his hit show and sell it in a CD. I would be the first to buy it. Can’t get over Panda Ross’s “Bring it on Home”.

  • Underzog

    A prominent human rights activists, whose name I will not mention, told me to try to relax. I got the idea of doing my old transcendental meditation to see if I can do that. Also, Cathy Young reared her nasty head on the pages of the misnamed “Reason Magazine.” I gave her a piece of my mind vis a vis her “Newsday” article concerning Pamela Geller (my comment is near the bottom, right above the antisemite, Justin Raimondo).

  • Ron rockit

    I have always liked Howlin Wolf. The Stones did versions of his songs that were far better than Led Zepplin, IMHO.

  • solange9

    One of my absolute favorites. This happens far too often with the original artist getting little or no recognition. At least Howlin’ Wolf was well known. Other artists that were ripped off, like Muddy Waters, from whom the Rolling Stones ripped off much material and style, did not receive recognition on their own merit/ Muddy Waters did not receive it until after his death. Even then, the Stones only partially acknowledged the extent to which they stole and were influenced by his material and style, leaving Muddy Waters a bit bitter toward them.

  • marlene

    Yeah, some good old music.

  • John Nosser

    I like blues, but I never heard of this singer. He is good. You can tell Led Zeppelin made the same song, so it had to be afterwards. I am more familiar with blues singers from Mississippi, like B. B. King. Thanks for posting.

  • zcos

    Its called a cover. It is not a rip-off. It’s a tribute.

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