Chester Arthur Burnett (10 June 1910 – 10 January 1976), known as Howlin' Wolf, was an American blues singer. He was born on a plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi. Burnett tried to emulate the singing style of Jimmie Rodgers, a white, country yodeler. Although he never mastered the yodeling technique, his distinctive style earned him the nickname of "The Wolf".
Burnett traveled around the Mississippi delta for nearly twenty years singing with famous blues artists, including Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1949, the Wolf moved to Chicago and spent time with Muddy Waters. They recorded for Chess Records. While Waters toured the country performing, Burnett began to play at several of the Chicago clubs frequented by Waters. After Burnett was embraced by the Chicago R&B scene, a rivalry developed between him and Waters.
The Wolf had a series of hits in the 1950s, including "Moanin' at Midnight", "Killing Floo", "How Many More Years", "I Ain't Smart", and "Smokestack Lightin'".
- Hear Howlin' Wolf (music and interviews) on the Pop Chronicles (1969).
- Rockin' in Time: A Social History of Rock-And-Roll by David P. Szatmary, 2010, 398 pp. ISBN 0-205-67506-9.