Chicago blues giant Howlin' Wolf died 45 years ago this month at the age of 65. In his prime, Wolf stood at 6ft 3 inches, weighed in at nearly 21½ stone and had a voice to match his imposing physical countenance. Would we have had Captain Beefheart or Tom Waits without Howlin' Wolf? Unlikely I think.
The master tapes of many classic Howlin' Wolf recordings were destroyed in a Universal Studio backlot fire in 2008, along with those of hundreds of other artists ranging from Sidney Bechet to Captain Sensible and Al Jolson to Styx.
Here's Wolf recorded live in Germany in 1964, with a stellar backing band comprising Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Clifton James and Hubert Sumlin.