The Blues of Howlin' Wolf

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Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf hide caption

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Howlin' Wolf electrified the blues of the Mississippi Delta and laid the foundation of rock and roll in the early 1950s. His lyrics — delivered in a gruff, haunting voice — evoked his hard-life experiences.

Detail: The cover of 'His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) '

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"Wolf's No. 1 weapon was his voice: he used it to brag about his sexual prowess to the ladies, or deliver a threat to the men," Ashley Kahn says in a Morning Edition profile of the late blues giant. "When he sang 'evil is going on,' there was little doubt about it."

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