The Wolf On ‘Shindig’

Originally posted August 2, 2007

One of the nicest – and earliest – tributes a rock band ever paid to one of its influences took place on the ABC-TV show Shindig on May 26, 1965. Never coy about giving credit to their influences, the Rolling Stones told the show’s producers that they’d perform on the show only if Howlin’ Wolf, the great Chicago bluesman, performed as well.

(Jimmy O’Neill, the host of the show, claimed on air during the show and in interviews later that he came up with the idea of having the Wolf on Shindig as a gesture to please the Stones, but from what I’ve read over the years, that’s a flat-out lie.)

It was Howlin’ Wolf’s television debut, and with the Stones and the Shindig regulars sitting around him or swaying on high stools as they watched, he gave the show’s millions of viewers a riveting performance of “How Many More Years?”

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