Howlin’ Wolf – Sitting On Top Of The World

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Chester Arthur Burnett had many names. Big Foot Chester. Bull Cow. Later he became better known as the Tail Dragger, the one and only Howlin’ Wolf. The Wolf rose up in White Station, MS (between Columbus and Tupelo) and went to Chicago in 1953 where he came to typify the electrified, Delta-bred Chicago blues style. He learned guitar from Charley Patton and harmonica from Sonny Boy Williamson, but blew the South Side away once professionally aligned with world-class blues virtuosi like Hubert SumlinMatt ‘Guitar’ Murphy, Sam Lay (later of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band) and Junior Parker.

I could link to a dozen Howlin’ Wolf tunes that’d knock your socks off –the ‘real folk blues’ in the time-honored tradition– but this is the one I was just singing in my head so I thought I’d share.

Going down to the freight yard,
catching me a freight train.
I’m gonna’ leave this town.
Work done got hard.
But now she gone, and I don’t worry
Sitting on top of the world.


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