Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Moanin' in the Moonlight

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Released  1959
Moanin' in the Moonlight (1959)  Howlin' Wolf (1962)
Release date  1959
Length  33:53
Artist  Howlin' Wolf
Label  Chess Records
Moanin' in the Moonlight httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen442How
Recorded  May 14 or August 1951 at Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee – March 1959 in Chicago, Illinois
Genres  Blues, Chicago blues, Electric blues
Producers  Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon, Sam Phillips
Similar  Howlin' Wolf albums, Blues albums

Howlin wolf moanin in the moonlight full album 1959

Moanin' in the Moonlight was the debut album by American blues singer Howlin' Wolf. The album was a compilation of previously issued singles by Chess Records. It was originally released by Chess Records as a mono-format LP record in 1959 (see 1959 in music). The album has been reissued several times, including a vinyl reissue in 1969 titled Evil.


Howlin wolf moanin in the moonlight full album

Recording and production

The two earliest songs on Moanin' in the Moonlight were "Moanin' at Midnight" and "How Many More Years". These two songs were recorded at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee on May 14, 1951 or August 1951. These two songs were sold to the Chess brothers, Leonard and Phil, who released them as a single on August 15, 1951. The rest of the songs on the album were recorded in Chicago, Illinois and were produced by either the Chess brothers and/or Willie Dixon.

Artwork, packaging, and promotion

The original version of Moanin' in the Moonlight featured cover artwork by Don S. Bronstein and sleeve notes by Billboard editor Paul Ackerman. The label pressings from the original series have different colors on it because several pressing plants were used.

The album was featured on an advertisement in Billboard magazine on August 10, 1959, which misprinted the album's title as Howlin' at Midnite.


In 1987 Moanin' in the Moonlight was given a W.C. Handy Award under the category of "Vintage/Reissue Album (US)". Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album as #153 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Robert Palmer has cited "How Many More Years" (recorded May 1951) as the first record to feature a distorted power chord, played by Willie Johnson on the electric guitar.

Track listing

All songs written by Chester Burnett, except when noted.

Side one
  1. "Moanin' at Midnight" – 2:58
  2. "How Many More Years" – 2:42
  3. "Smokestack Lightnin'" – 3:07
  4. "Baby How Long" – 2:56
  5. "No Place to Go" – 2:59
  6. "All Night Boogie" – 2:12
Side two
  1. "Evil" – 2:55 (Willie Dixon)
  2. "I'm Leavin' You" – 3:01
  3. "Moanin' for My Baby" – 2:47
  4. "I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)" – 2:53
  5. "Forty-Four" – 2:51 (Roosevelt Sykes, credited to Burnett)
  6. "Somebody in My Home" – 2:27


The following people contributed to Moanin' in the Moonlight:

  • Howlin' Wolf – vocals, harmonica
  • Willie Johnson – guitar
  • Willie Steele – drums
  • Ike Turner – piano on "How Many More Years"
  • Hubert Sumlin – guitar
  • Hosea Lee Kennard – piano
  • Willie Dixon – bass, producer
  • Earl Phillips – drums
  • Jody Williams – guitar
  • Otis Spann – piano
  • Lee Cooper – guitar on "No Place to Go"
  • Fred Below – drums on "All Night Boogie"
  • S. P. Leary – drums on "I'm leaving You"
  • Adolph "Billy" Dockins – tenor saxophone on "Moanin' for My Baby"
  • Otis "Smokey" Smothers – guitar on "I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)"
  • Sam Phillips – producer on "Moanin' at Midnight" and "How Many More Years"
  • Leonard Chess – producer
  • Phil Chess – producer
  • Songs

    1Moanin' at Midnight2:56
    2How Many More Years2:43
    3Smokestack Lightnin'3:08


    Moanin' in the Moonlight Wikipedia

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