NATCHEZ BURNING, THE

Latest update on 14/08/2019

Artist: Howlin' Wolf
Author: Chester Burnett
Label: Chess
Year: 1959

Recorded in '56. He remembered the raging fire in 1940 in the Rhythm Club, a black club in Natchez, MS taking more than 200 lives, including the entire line-up of the Walter Barnes big band who performed there that evening. The fire was short but intense, spread in a flash across the spanish moss decoration on the ceiling, causing panic at the gates who were all locked. A few days after the disaster the first thematical songs started popping up: by The Lewis Bronzeville Five (Mississippi Fire Blues and Natchez Mississippi Blues), Leonard 'Baby Doo' Caston (The Death Of Walter Barnes) and Gene Gilmore (The Natchez Fire). Howlin' Wolf who knew some of the victims personally, at least was respectful enough to wait another 16 years before coming up with his account.

Covers:

1959:

John Lee Hooker [as Natchez Fire (Burning) on Burning Hell lp]

1969:

Groundhogs [on Blues Obituary]

1972:

Capt. Beefheart

1997:

Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early [both from Natchez as Natchez Fire]

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