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Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Rolling Stones - Little Red Rooster

On this day September 2, 1964 at the Chess Studios in Chicago, the Rolling Stones recorded "Little Red Rooster."

"Little Red Rooster" (or "The Red Rooster" as it was first titled) is a song that is a classic of the blues. Howlin' Wolf recorded "The Red Rooster" in 1961, a song credited to blues arranger and songwriter Willie Dixon, although earlier songs have been cited as inspiration. A variety of performers have interpreted it, including Sam Cooke, Willie Mabon, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones, who had important record chart successes with the song.

The Rolling Stones recorded their version of "Little Red Rooster" in 1964. The recording session took place at the Chess Studios in Chicago, the same studios where Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, et al. recorded their blues classics (the Rolling Stones instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue" was named after the studio's address). The song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on December 5, 1964 where it stayed for one week. It remains to this day the only time a blues song has ever topped the British pop charts. The song generally follows the original with Brian Jones contributing the distinctive slide guitar part and an effective harmonica part on the outro (although Mick Jagger would mime to the latter instrument on television appearances). It was the band's last cover song to be released as a single during the 1960s; subsequent singles would be self-penned efforts.

"Little Red Rooster" was not released as a single in the US, but was included on the 1965 album The Rolling Stones, Now!. The Rolling Stones performed the song on several American television shows in 1965, including The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig!, and Shivaree (at their insistence, Howlin' Wolf also performed on Shindig!, where he was introduced by Brian Jones). "Little Red Rooster" also appeared on their 1989 compilation, Singles Collection: The London Years. Love You Live, a 1977 live double album contained the song, as well as Flashpoint, a live album recorded during the Rolling Stones' 1989–1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour. It was taken from a 1989 show at Shea Stadium in New York, with Eric Clapton on slide guitar. (Info Wiki)

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