|Howlin’ Wolf tribute to launch UNC Library’s blues series|
|Tuesday, August 23, 2011|
Legendary blues singer Howlin’ Wolf will be celebrated in a symposium and concert Sept. 19 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The program will be the first in a Blues Legacy Series sponsored by the Southern Folklife Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library, which holds a number of Howlin’ Wolf’s original recordings, collections of commercial recordings and archival collections on the blues.
At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, blues standouts Alvin Youngblood Hart, Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Jody Williams and Henry Gray – all of whom knew or were inspired by Howlin’ Wolf – will perform in the Great Hall of the Carolina Union.
Tickets – $5 for students, $12.50 for others – are available through the Carolina Union Box Office, (919) 962-1449.
Before the concert, blues scholar Peter Guralnick will discuss Howlin’ Wolf’s life and music in a free symposium at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Library. Then Guralnick will interview Sam Phillips’ son, Knox. Phillips founded Sun Records and discovered Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.
Knox Phillips learned the music business from his father before embarking on his own career as an engineer, producer and studio owner. Guralnick is writing a book about Sam Phillips.
The series will continue on Nov. 17 with a panel discussion and concert to remember the Rev. Gary Davis, a guitarist. A third event, in February, will recall Eddie James “Son” House.
Howlin’ Wolf, who died in 1976, was born Chester Arthur Burnett in White Station, Miss., in 1910. His best-known recordings include “Smokestack Lightning,” “Killing Floor” and “How Many More Years.”
Steve Weiss, head of the Southern Folklife Collection, said that the influential singer was known both for his powerful voice and imposing 300-pound frame.
“Howlin’ Wolf played a key role in shaping American blues, and especially electric blues,” Weiss said. “He is the perfect figure to launch this series that honors the amazing blues resources here in Wilson Library.”
The Southern Folklife Collection also holds the Peter Guralnick Collection.
Library contact: Steve Weiss, (919) 962-7105,