"Little Red Rooster," or "The Red Rooster" as it was first named, is a blues standard written by Willie Dixon. First recorded in 1961 by Howlin' Wolf, the song is a slow blues that features distinctive slide guitar accompaniment. Backing Wolf (vocal, guitar) are Hubert Sumlin (guitar), Johnny Jones (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), and Sam Lay (drums). "The Red Rooster" is included in the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
"The Red Rooster" was one in a string of Willie Dixon-penned songs that Howlin' Wolf recorded in the early 1960s that were later popularized by rock artists ("Back Door Man" - The Doors, "Spoonful" - Cream, "Little Red Rooster" - The Rolling Stones, and "I Ain't Superstitious" - The Jeff Beck Group). Wolf later recorded "The Red Rooster" with several rock figures (Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts) for his 1971 album The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Chess LP-60008). As the group was preparing to record the song, the studio chat was recorded. As Howlin' Wolf is making an attempt to explain the timing of the song's changes, Eric Clapton (joined in by the others) encourages Wolf to play it on guitar so "I can follow you if I can see what you're doing."
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