The Rolling Stones Song of the Day is- Little Red Rooster. Little Red Rooster was written by the great blues songwriter Willie Dixon and first performed by the immortal Howlin’ Wolf in 1961- it wasn’t a hit but became a modern blues classic. The idea for The Rolling Stones to cover this song came from their manager Andrew Loog Oldham- he wanted to keep The Stones image a gritty, tough one to contrast them to The Beatles image. Little Red Rooster was released as an A-side single in the UK where incredibly it went to #1-their second in the UK. It wasn’t released as a single in the US. Sam Cooke had covered the song a year before The Stones did- and had a Top 40 in the US with it.
Covering a Howlin’ Wolf song is risky- Sam Phillips who discovered a fella named Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis said Howlin’ Wolf was his greatest discovery and said “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf, I said, ‘This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.'” The Stones though pulled off Little Red Rooster brilliantly. It stays close to the original- and the single is the only blues single to ever hit #1 in the UK. Brian Jones slide guitar is a highlight of The Stones version.