# Similar Movies Like The Howlin' Wolf Story: The Secret History of Rock & Roll
The Howlin' Wolf Story: The Secret History of Rock & Roll 2003
About: Arguably second only to Muddy Waters among the Mississippi Delta singers who traveled north and pioneered urban electric blues (their supposed rivalry is the topics of one of this DVD's premium features), Wolf was a big, imposing boy with an inimitable, booming voice and a lasting influence on generations of rock & rollers--all of which comes across in the 90-minute film.
Released: 04 Nov 2003 Director: Don McGlynn Writers: N/A Actors: Howlin' Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Barbra Marks, Bettye Kelly Genres: Documentary
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The Howlin' Wolf Story: The Secret History of Rock & Roll Reviews:

Howlin' Wolf, aka Chester Burnett, came out of the deep south, out of the fields of Mississippi, out of a super-religious mother who stuck so firmly to her guns that Blues was "the devil's music" that she never spoke to her son for decades, out of racism and hardship, and made his own original, vibrant type of music. He wasn't alone, as others like Muddy Waters came into prominence (and, according to a unique detail on the DVD that could have been included with the rest of the doc, had a rivalry for some time), and shook up famous melody first for black audiences and then slowly but firmly whites.It's a remarkable journey, said with not a entire lot of style as a type of direct-to-video approach, with a plethora of nice facts and some humbling opinions (one of Wolf's closest musician mates and band-mates, Hubert Sumlin, provides the most entertaining anecdotes as a die-hard blues-man through and through). Plus, of course, the music, with some rare performances and even some home films shot at Chicago clubs, of the Wolf's presence and magnetism coming out in powerful forcefulness as he does crazy things on scene like lick his guitar and crawl on all fours. Whatever you wish to tell about his melody it's inarguable that he doesn't receive your attention, if only through that distinctive voice that's a sounds like it's been run-over and resurrected as an all-powerful bad-ass.Thankfully, too, in such a short running time, there's a limit of how much drama there usually is in a musician-bio pic. Then again, Howlin' Wolf wasn't as naughty as another musicians: he didn't sleep around as a ladies's boy (at least, from the doc's perspective, as much as tell Muddy Waters), was a devoted husband and father, stayed away from drugs and most drink (he was so vs it he openly criticized Son House during a performance), and only had his one true stinging trouble being a lack of communication with his mother. While one wishes the film was longer- more detailed, more infused with that pure air of rhythm and blues- what's here is enough to whet the appetite. At the least you'll wish to place on some Wolf on the stereo right away or rush out to search some type of record. He wasn't maybe the #1 greatest blues-man in America, but he certainly left his tag like only several others did. This doc is a nice tribute to the Wolf's spirit.


could be needed viewing by anyone with any interest in any kind of rock music. Mr. Wolf is not only my choice as the single most necessary blues artist of the 20th century, he was also the most exciting live performer in any musical genre; Hendrix, the Stones and Iggy Pop combined might qualify as a decent opening act for Wolf. Mere words can not explain the power, excitement and explosive force that was Howlin Wolf. A special and captivating singer, a powerful harp player, a woefully underrated guitarist and a historically necessary songwriter; add all of that to the wonderful live performances and you have the lord of blues (and rock) artists.The movie captured a handful of surviving bandmembers (hubert sumlin, jody williams, sam lay) and mixed in some nice archival footage of people ranging from Muddy Waters to Son House to Brian Jones (his "How-LING Wolf" intro on Shindig was nice for a laugh). Wolf is easy at the top of my list of artists I regret not seeing in person, but this movie did a nice job of giving us the next greatest thing. If it comes up short in any area, it doesn't offer that much current live performance footage. But the 50s/60s era bluesmen were fully ignored by USA tv during this time, so tiny or NO commercial footage exists for these extremely necessary musicians. Fortunately, the American Movie Blues Festival (1962 to 1969) brought many of these artists over to Europe for an annual tour that was regularly filmed for Euro tv audiences. A three volume DVD set has been released in the past couple of years and volume 2 has an wonderful 3 song segment by Wolf. The "Howlin Wolf Story" and all 3 volumes of the AFBF series might be the greatest return on $60 imaginable.


I watched this documentary right after finishing the Howlin' Wolf biography "Moanin' At Midnight" written by James Segrest and Tag Hoffman, so I have to begin by telling that the ebook is a masterpiece in Blues literature. It reads like a biography should, and not just the compilation of random facts and educated guesses that most Blues biographies are. It ranges from comical to moving (a rarity in Blues Bio's)and says a nice storyline in the process. This DVD was a true letdown in comparison. There were some high spots. Sam's Lay's silent home films were cool (seeing the Wolf and Sumlin on scene with Sonny Man and Tiny Watler in the audience), as well as parts of the documentary throughout, but I was confused as to why they relied so heavily on the footage from the makeshift juke joint at the Newport Festival. There's a lot of better Wolf performance footage out there, like the remainder of the European tour footage that wasn't used here. I've never seen footage where Wolf's own performance wasn't top notch, but the another users were out of tune and at their sloppiest here. Besides that, method too much effort was place into showing how badly Son House had deteriorated. They came back to the topics few times and I thought it was cruelly unnecessary. We all know he was a pitiful drunk at the end, and a disappointment to Wolf who had idolized him, but this mission should have been made in one short statement. Did they bother to showcase how nice he was in his prime (or should still be when sober)? No, because this film wasn't about Son House (although I wondered at one mission and had to check the game on the box). The juke footage was shot within a several years of the Son House footage that Yazoo Records released in their "Masters Of The Country Blues" series. It's a unbelievable performance. Even though he was old and things weren't working the method they had 30 years earlier, there was still a lot of power and passion in the performances and a quiet dignity in the man. It's just too terrible that the producer (Joe Lauro) and director (Don McGlynn) of the Wolf documentary seemed determined not to leave him any. Aside from that, it was an OK film. Hubert Sumlin's spots were entertaining as well as the interviews with Hubert's ex and Wolf's stepdaughters. I would like to rate this DVD higher, but if you wish a nice story, read the book. As a biography this film only touches on spots and leaves so much out. If you wish to see the greatest Wolf footage, you'll only see some of it here.



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