This page will update weekly to include a new question for the books that we are currently reading. Once the book is done, the questions will be archived and this page will start anew with the next reading.

Weekly Discussion Questions for Moanin’ at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin’ Wolf by James Segrest and Mark Hoffman
Discussion Questions

 

Discussion Question for the Week of Sept 15 – Sept 21
Segrest and Hoffman posit that while Howlin’ Wolf did not talk much about his difficult childhood, he did sing about it in his music. What songs that Wolf sings display portions of the narrative you read in the first two chapters of the biography?

 

Discussion Question for the Week of Sept 22 – Sept 28
What did you learn in Chapter 3 about the spaces in which blues musicians played in the Delta area, and how was it different or similar to what you already knew about juke and barrelhouse joints?

 

Discussion Question for the Week of Sept 29 – Oct 5
How do you see and understand the dynamics of musician mentorship as described in this biography?

Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 6 – Oct 12
Chapter 6 features discussions of Wolf’s early recording career. Many people discuss why they thought Wolf was such a sensation, what made his sound unique. What about Howlin’ Wolf’s music draws you to it? Do you have a favorite song of his? Why is it your favorite?

Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 13 – Oct 19
Based on the information in this week’s chapter, what would you say are defining features of Chicago blues?

Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 20 – Oct 26 
How did Chess Records affect Wolf’s career? What can you learn about how Chess Records influenced the blues genre in the chapters we’ve read so far?

Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 27 – Nov 2
How and where do you see the influence of romantic relationships in Howlin’ Wolf’s music?