Decades after his death, Howlin' Wolf is still winning awards.
The Blues Foundation of Memphis held the 33rd Blues Music Awards, May 10. Clay County's own native son, Chester Arthur "Howlin' Wolf"Burnett, won the Historical Album of the Year Award for the boxed set, “Smokestack Lightning.” The Geffen boxed set has a foreword by Peter Guralnick, the best selling author of a highly acclaimed two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, “Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love," and an upcoming biography on Sam Phillips of Sun Records. The award winning album was produced by Blues Historian and producer, Dick Sherman. Sherman. in an interview featured in the boxed set, mentions the Howlin' Wolf Festival and statue in West Point.
“It is a great honor to see that Wolf's music spans the generations and continues to be a driving force in influencing today's and future artists,” stated Richard Ramsey, curator of the Howlin' Wolf Museum. “West Point has a lot to be proud of in the musical legacy of Howlin' Wolf. All the great guitarists of our time have been proud to say they were influenced by Wolf,”
The Blues Foundation in Memphis, also honored Ramsey in 2007, with the coveted “Keeping the Blues Alive” award.
The song “Smokestack Lightning,” was written about the railroad in White Station. The award winning boxed set is available at the Howlin' Wolf Museum and Bits and Pieces.
Chester A. Burnett may have passed away in 1976, but his musical legacy will never die as long as musicians continue to be influenced by Howlin' Wolf.