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The Howlin’ Wolf Band – Photo of The Week

The Howlin’ Wolf Band 

Howlin Wolf, back in the day leaves quite an imprint for future generations when it comes to the blues. Furthermore, this photo says a lot about the big personalities that surrounded Howlin’ Wolf in his heyday. Captured by Ray Flerlage, this is a fantastic photo of “The Howlin’ Wolf Band.”  First off, you have Howlin’ Wolf, “The Booming Voice Of The Blues” and the ringleader along with guitarist and blues singer. He’s well known for his animated stage persona, loud booming voice and his large stature. So, pretty much his band would also be over the top just as well!  The cast of characters includes Hubert Sumlin, Johnny Jones, Willie Young, Andrew “Blue Blood” McMahon and Cassell Burrow.  It was circa 1964, the prime time to be a blues musician.

Silvio’s Blues Club

At its height, Silvio’s was one of Chicago’s premier blues clubs and often attracted a diverse audience.  This place became Howlin’ Wolf’s house due to the fact that this was one of the premier places that most blues fans could catch him live.  His music produced several hits such as “Smokestack Lightnin’,” “Little Red Rooster,” and “Back Door Man,” are known for their influence on rock and roll bands such as The Rolling Stones and The Doors who would frequent the clubs when in Chi-Town. 

Raeburn “Ray” Flerlage

Raeburn “Ray” Flerlage worked in the music industry as a record distributor. Furthermore, he was a huge fan of music, especially the blues. Although he had a relatively short career (1959-1970), his photographs captured a key moment in the emergence of the Chicago Blues. Flerlage ventured into clubs and studios, and he was welcomed into homes, where he documented the community of musicians who came to define the sound of amplified Chicago Blues. His photos reveal a personal side of the working men and women whose electrified music inspired fans and influenced generations.  

Be sure to check back next week to see what’s new!

Keeping the Blues Alive

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