Monday, May 26, 2008

Shindig: May 26, 1965

Most of the British invasion bands of the early 1960's were borrowing from the music of american blues, R&B and country artists (even the Beatles had covered Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Buck Owens, the Isley Brothers). But it was the Rolling Stones that acknowledged their musical influences and helped revive interest in the blues artists that they emulated.
On May 26, 1965, the Rolling Stones took it one step further by including 55 year old Howlin' Wolf in their appearance on "Shindig", a network television music show. The result was television history, when the greatest blues singer of all set the record straight about where it all came from. The Wolf's finger wagging, hip shaking, harmonica wailing performance must have sent shockwaves and maybe even fear throughtout the vast bland television wasteland that existed in 1965.
Sam Phillips, who had discovered Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, always considered Wolf to be his greatest discovery. Although Howlin' Wolf lived until 1976, he never made another television appearance. (The full clip can be found on the DVD "The Howlin' Wolf Story: The Secret History of Rock & Roll.")

The Howlin' Wolf Story: The Secret History of Rock & Roll. DVD