How it started
The first 4 years of sales for Wolf Records were minimal. It wasn’t until the best selling release of Chicago’s superstar Magic Slim and the Teardrops that sales began to move. And, not only was Magic Slim’s release a fast seller, but it won the WC Handy Award for the best blues recording of the year. That was in 1986; since then Wolf Records has been sinking its teeth even deeper.
The Chicago Blues Session series (57 recordings to date) put the Wolf Record label to the forefront of the Chicago Blues scene, in addition to another pair of WC Handy Awards for Magic Slim and Wolf Records. “Down Home” field recordings gave the Wolf label something special to speak about… another WC Handy Award for the “Giants Of Country Blues Guitar / Vol. 1” release. In 1990 Wolf cutlined tours for its roster of artists and others, featuring none other than Magic Slim And The Teardrops and Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang. Nuturing talents on the homefront, Wolf Records has compiled the Austrian Blues Summit-CD, which features Hans Theessink, Mojo Blues Band, Dana Gillespie, Hooked On Blues and many more.
Also Wolf recorded one more CD by Europe’s best female blues singer, Dana Gillespie, and the great newcomers Christian Dozzler & Blues Wave and Peter Garstenauer. On the international scene Wolf Records is proud to present the best of Chicago; live recordings during the reknown Chicago Blues Fest. Performing in and around the famous Chicago club circuit: Buddy’s Legend, Checkerboard, Kingston Mines, Blues Etcetera, B.l.u.e.s., House Of Blues, and Blue Chicago, to name a few, will feature Wolf recording artists such as Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Willie Kent, Vance Kelly, Eddie Shaw, Dave Myers, Carey Bell, Booker T. Laury, and others.
Wolf Records would like to extend its thanks and gratitude for the hard work done by our U.S. reps, Willie Kent, Phil Hammer, John Primer, Paul Smith, Brett Bonner, Ray Copeland, Ron Bartolucci, Carl Meyer, Anthony Brisbin, and to the many others who continue their support. We are proud of you all. And, in 1995 Wolf has been eating more… many productions by traditional blues musicians such as Houston Stackhouse, U. P. Wilson and contemporary blues artists Vance Kelly, Michael Coleman, Johnny Laws, Nick Holt, Johnny B. Moore, to name a few.
Also Wolf Records was really proud to win a Living Blues Award 1995 for the best contemporary blues CD of 1994, Vance Kelly “Call Me” (120.977 CD). In 1996 and 1997 Wolf continues its national and international activities. Back in 1996 Magic Slim came for two more tours to Europe! In 1997 Wolf artists Willie Kent and Eddie Shaw got each a W.C. Handy Award and a Living Blues Award for their great music. And of course Wolf Records found another new talent in Chicago: Edward Taylor produced his first CD as a tribute to his father Eddie “Big Town Playboy” Taylor.
On the Zoo Bar Collection, which now comprises 6 CDs, you can hear the best Chicago blues has to offer. We also want to state that the Chicago blues scene couldn’t be imagined without these incredible Wolf artists: L. V. Banks, Johnny B. Moore, John Primer, Michael Coleman, Vance Kelly, and Johnny Laws. All of them have released their first CDs on Wolf! During the past few years, Wolf Records has organized European tours for Vance Kelly & The Backstreet Bluesband (twice), Willie Kent & His Gents, and John Primer. In the fall of 2000, Wolf Records artists John Primer & Magic Slim were special guests at the Lucerne Blues Festival, and Vance Kelly recorded his first live CD for our label, “Live at Lee’s Unleaded.”. In 2001, Kelly won the prestigious Chicago Music Award. Other current waxings for Wolf Records include a new recording by Eddie Taylor Jr., Harmonica Hinds and Tré, produced in Chicago and called “From The Country To The City”. Recent CD releases on Wolf Records by Magic Slim, John Primer and Larry Taylor were very well received by both critics and fans.