Howlin’ Wolf Caricature 1964


Howlin' Wolf Caricature 1964, a.k.a. Chester Arthur Burnett, (age 54) shown here performing in Chicago with his 1959 Epiphone Zenith Guitar with an aftermarket DeHarmond Rythymn Chief pickup.

Born in Mississippi, was given the name Chester Arthur, after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. He got his nickname from his grandfather, “who would tell him stories about wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved the “howling wolves” would get him”.

Howlin' Wolf was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists.
During the 1930s, Burnett performed in the South as a solo performer and with numerous blues musicians, including Floyd Jones, Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Johnson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Willie Brown, Son House and Willie Johnson.

Influenced by Charley Patton (who taught him guitar), Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Lemon Jefferson and others, Burnett had been playing for nearly 20 years before he started recording at Sun Studios in Memphis and became a full time blues musician. Physically, he was quite imposing, at six feet six inches tall, and nearly 300 lbs.
But his voice on record — surely the most extreme in show business (sounds like a buzz saw ripping through green pine wood) — is plenty memorable enough. He is associated with a long list of Chicago blues classics, many of which were later covered by younger rock musicians. These include his own compositions such as “Smokestack Lightnin'” and “Killing Floor”, but also several by his frequent collaborator Willie Dixon, like “Spoonful'”, “I Ain’t Superstitious”, “Little Red Rooster”, “Back Door Man” and “Wang Dang Doodle” which have become blues rock standards.

Unlike most of his blues counterparts, Burnett was always financially successful. Burnett met his future wife, Lillie, when she attended one of his performances at a Chicago club. According to those who knew them, the couple remained deeply in love until his death. Together they raised Bettye and Barbara, Lillie's daughters from an earlier relationship.

Burnett's health began declining in the late 1960's. After several heart attacks and suffering from bruised kidneys, in January 1976, Burnett checked into the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Illinois, for kidney surgery. He died of complications from the procedure on January 10, 1976, at the age of 65.

In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.

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Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 28 × 24 × 2 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185