Song composer(s)

Dixon, Willie

Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Moanin' in the Moonlight : Howlin' Wolf (1962)
Etta James : Etta James (1962)
Argo - The Blues, Volume 1 - Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf) (1963)
A Bag Full Soul : Jose Feliciano (1965)
Fresh Cream : Cream (1966)
What's Shakin' : Various Artists (Paul Butterfield) (1966)
I Can Tell : John Hammond (1967)
Back Door Men : Shadows of Knight (1967)
Ten Years After : Ten Years After (1967)
Dirty Blues Band : Dirty Blues Band (1967)
The Super Super Blues Band : Mudy Waters/Bo Diddley/Howlin' Wolf (1968)
Wheels of Fire : Cream (1968)
The Howlin' Wolf Album : Howlin' Wolf (1969)
Pop Origins : Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf) (1969)
Harlan County : Jim Ford (1969)
I Am the Blues : Willie Dixon (1969)
Chester Burnette A.K.A. Howlin' Wolf : Howlin' Wolf (1972)
Allman Joys : Allman Joys (1973)
Spoonful : Jimmy Witherspoon (1975)
Blues & Jazz Guitar : Mickey Baker (1977)
Second Wind : Delbert McClinton (1978)
The Earthshaker : Koko Taylor (1978)
Hear Me Calling : Ten Years After(1981)
Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream : Cream (1983)
Spoonful : John Hammond (1984)
Backtrackin' : Eric Clapton (1984)
Live Backstage Access : Willie Dixon (1985)
Greatest Hits : Howlin' Wolf (1986)
Crossroads : Eric Clapton (1988)
Dreams : Allman Brothers Band (1989)
Willie Dixon - Chess Box : Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf) (1989)
The Chess Box : Howlin' Wolf (1991)
Bronx Blues: The Columbia Recordings : Dion (1991)
Chicago Blues Tapes 1991 : Pretty Things/Yardbirds (1991)
The Individualism of Gil Evans : Gil Evans (1991)
Blues, Jazz & Rock Guitar: Legendary Mickey Baker : Mickey Baker (1992)
Raw 'N Alive at the Cellar, Chicago 1966! : Shadows of Knight (1992)
Wine Women & Whiskey : The Pretty Things (1994)
Cities of the Heart : Jack Bruce (1994)
Big Mama Thornton 1977 : Big Mama Thornton (1994)
Moanin' in the Moonlite - 26 Hits : Howlin' Wolf (1994)
The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead : Various Artists (1995)
Had My Fun : Karen Carroll (1995)
3000 Volts of Stax : Various Artists (1995)
The Original Lost Elektra Sessions : Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1995)
Electric Blues : Various Artists (1996)
Late '60s Concert at Liberty Hall - Houston, Texas : Willie Dixon/Johnny Winter (1996)
Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994 Smithsonian Blues Box : Various Artists (1996)
Those Were the Days : Cream (1997)
Matchbox Days : Various Artists (1997)
Cool Talkin' Verve : Various Artists (1997)
His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) : Howlin' Wolf (1997)
Chess Blues-Rock Songbook (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) : Various Artists (1997)
Chess Blues Classics: 1957-1967 : Various Artists (1997)
Anthology : Blues Project (1997)
The Road I'm On - Retrospective : Dion (1997)
Swampin : Clarence Edwards (199?)
Smokestack Lightning : Howlin' Wolf (19??)


Lead vocals - Weir.

The song performed by the Dead was written by Willie Dixon and made famous initially by Howlin' Wolf , subsequently by Cream and other groups. Though the 'standard' lyrics and great riff were originated by Dixon the song partially derives from a family of 'Spoonful' songs that date back to at least the start of the 20th century.

The earliest known recorded version of a related song is Papa Charlie Jackson's All I Want Is A Spoonful, from 1925. It's thought that this and subsequent versions of the song contain less sexually explicit lyrics than earlier versions, and thus could be recorded. Censorship prevented earlier recording.

Paul Oliver's Screening The Blues (1968) contains an extensive chapter on sexually explicit songs, censorship and it's effect on Blues history. An earlier song with the title 'Bout A Spoonful is mentioned by song collectors but it's lyrics never quoted.

The Papa Charlie Jackson song though can be seen as a forerunner of Willie Dixon's Spoonful, containing stanzas such as;

You can brown your gravy, fry your steak
Sweet mama don't make no mistake
'Cause all I want, honey baby, just a spoonful, spoonful.


I got the blues so bad I couldn't sleep at night
My cool kind mama want to fuss and fight
'Cause all I want, honey baby, just a spoonful, spoonful.

Charlie Patton recorded A Spoonful Blues in 1929. Patton does not sing the word 'spoonful' but forms the word on guitar at the end of each line;

Honey I'm a fool about my .....
Don't take me long to get my .....
Hey hey you know I need my .....

Songs related to Spoonful can be found on the following recordings;

Spoonful Blues
Founder of the Delta Blues : Charley Patton (1969)
Fast & Funky : Larry Johnson (1974)
Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1929) : Charley Patton (1990)
Roots of Rock : Various Artists (Charley Patton) (1991)
Indigo Blues Collection, Vol. 2 : Various Artists (1997)

Roll and Tumble Blues, The Essential Recordings of Slide Guitar Blues : Various Artists (Charley Patton) (199?)
St. Louis Town: 1929-1933 : Various Artists (Charley Jordan) (19??)
The Voice of the Delta - The cpmplete Recordings of Charley Patton : Charley Patton (19??)

Just A Spoonful
Delta Bluesman : David "Honeyboy" Edwards (1992)
Before the Blues, Vol. 2 : Various Artists (Charley Jordan) (1996)

Bout A Spoonful
Texas Sharecropper & Songster : Mance Lipscomb (1960)
Mississippi Delta Blues, Vol. 2, Jam In Memphis : Various Artists (Nathan Beauregard) (1969)
Texas Songster : Mance Lipscomb (1990)
Texas Blues Guitar : Mance Lipscomb (1994)
Shake 'Em On Down - Real Country Blues : Various Artists (Nathan Beauregard) (1994)
Down Home Country Blues Classics : Various Artists (Mance Lipscomb) (1996)