Howlin' Wolf - Spoonful - 1960

Howlin' Wolf: "Spoonful" (1960)

Spoonful is a song by American blues singer Howlin' Wolf, released in 1960. This track, penned by Willie Dixon, is one of the classics of the blues genre and has been covered by numerous artists over the years. Its influential sound, lyrics, and the historical context of the blues era make "Spoonful" a fascinating subject for study.

Background and Historical Context

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the blues genre was undergoing significant transformation, and Howlin' Wolf was at the forefront of this change. Understanding this era is crucial to appreciating "Spoonful."

  1. Blues Music: Explore the roots and evolution of blues music.
  2. Howlin' Wolf's Life and Career: Learn about the life of Chester Arthur Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf.
  3. Songwriting of Willie Dixon: Discover the contributions of Willie Dixon to the blues genre.

Analysis of "Spoonful"

The song "Spoonful" is more than just a set of lyrics; it's a piece of musical artistry. The following aspects should be explored:

  1. Lyrics: Analyzing the metaphorical depth and meaning behind the lyrics.
  2. Composition: Understanding the musical structure and instrumentation of "Spoonful."
  3. Influence on Modern Music: Examining how "Spoonful" has influenced modern music genres.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What is the primary theme of "Spoonful"? (Love and desire) (!The Civil Rights Movement) (!Life in rural America) (!The American Dream)

Who wrote the song "Spoonful"? (Willie Dixon) (!Muddy Waters) (!B.B. King) (!Chuck Berry)

In which year was "Spoonful" released by Howlin' Wolf? (1960) (!1958) (!1962) (!1955)

What genre does "Spoonful" belong to? (Blues) (!Rock and Roll) (!Jazz) (!Country)

Which instrument is predominantly featured in "Spoonful"? (Harmonica) (!Piano) (!Electric Guitar) (!Saxophone)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What was Howlin' Wolf's real name? (Chester Arthur Burnett) (!Robert Johnson) (!John Lee Hooker) (!Muddy Waters)

Before his music career, what was one of Howlin' Wolf's occupations? (Farmhand) (!Lawyer) (!Teacher) (!Boxer)

Howlin' Wolf is primarily known for which musical instrument? (Voice and harmonica) (!Drums) (!Piano) (!Bass guitar)

In which region of the United States did Howlin' Wolf primarily develop his music style? (The Mississippi Delta) (!New York City) (!California) (!Chicago)

Howlin' Wolf's stage presence was known for being: (Intense and commanding) (!Reserved and quiet) (!Comical) (!Elegant)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

In "Spoonful," what does the spoonful metaphorically represent? (Desire or need) (!A literal spoonful of food) (!Traveling) (!A dance move)

The line "That spoon, that spoon, that spoonful" is an example of: (Repetition) (!Metaphor) (!Alliteration) (!Irony)

The lyrics "Could fill spoons full of diamonds, Could fill spoons of gold" suggest: (The value of what is desired) (!A life of luxury) (!A robbery) (!A mining experience)

How do the lyrics of "Spoonful" reflect the blues tradition? (Expressing longing and deep emotion) (!Celebrating happy moments) (!Telling a humorous story) (!Describing daily activities)

The simplicity of the lyrics in "Spoonful" serves to: (Emphasize the intensity of the emotion) (!Create a complex narrative) (!Demonstrate technical songwriting skill) (!Describe detailed scenarios)


Howlin' Wolf Chester Arthur Burnett
"Spoonful" Genre Blues
Songwriter Willie Dixon
Year of Release 1960
Main Instrument in "Spoonful" Harmonica

Open Tasks


  1. Create a Blues Playlist: Compile a playlist of blues songs that includes "Spoonful" and others from the same era.
  2. Draw Howlin' Wolf: Create a drawing or painting inspired by Howlin' Wolf.
  3. Write a Short Poem: Write a poem inspired by the themes in "Spoonful."


  1. Explore Blues Harmonica: Learn to play a simple blues tune on the harmonica.
  2. Research Blues History: Write a short essay on the evolution of blues music in the 20th century.
  3. Design a Blues Album Cover: Create an album cover for a fictional blues album, inspired by "Spoonful."


  1. Analyze Blues Lyrics: Compare the lyrics of "Spoonful" to another blues song and discuss the themes and styles.
  2. Create a Blues Song: Write and perform your own blues song.
  3. Study the Influence of Blues on Other Genres: Explore how blues music has influenced another genre of your choice.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Influence of Blues on Modern Music: How has blues music influenced modern genres like rock and pop?
  2. Interpret the Metaphors in "Spoonful": What do the metaphors in "Spoonful" reveal about the cultural and social context of the time?
  3. Compare Howlin' Wolf and Another Blues Artist: Discuss the differences and similarities in style and influence between Howlin' Wolf and another blues artist.
  4. The Role of the Harmonica in Blues: How does the harmonica contribute to the overall feel of blues music, specifically in "Spoonful"?
  5. Blues as a Form of Storytelling: Discuss how blues songs like "Spoonful" tell stories and convey emotions.

OERs on the Topic


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