Composer: Traditional / Willie Dixon

Grateful Dead

info Dick's Picks, Vol. 21, 2001
info Spring 1990 (The Other One), 2014


info November 17, 2010, Baltimore, MD
info March 8, 2011, Wallingford, CT
info March 25, 2011, New York, NY
info April 14, 2012, New York, NY

Dead & Company

info Boulder, CO, 10 Jun, 2017
info Raleigh, NC, Aug 16, 2021

Phil Lesh & Friends

info November 1, 2015, Port Chester, NY, 2015


no info Single (Spoonful / Howlin For My baby), Howlin' Wolf, 1960
info Howlin' Wolf, Howlin' Wolf, 1962
no info Etta James, Etta James, 1962
no info Argo: The Blues, Volume 1 - Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf), 1963
no info A Bag Full Soul, Jose Feliciano, 1965
info Live At The Cafe Au Go Go, The Blues Project, 1966
no info Fresh Cream, Cream, 1966
no info What's Shakin', Various Artists (Paul Butterfield), 1966
no info I Can Tell, John Hammond, 1967
no info Back Door Men, Shadows of Knight, 1967
no info Ten Years After, Ten Years After, 1967
info Dirty Blues Band, Dirty Blues Band, 1967
no info The Super Super Blues Band, Mudy Waters/Bo Diddley/Howlin' Wolf, 1968
no info Wheels of Fire, Cream, 1968
info The Howlin' Wolf Album, Howlin' Wolf, 1969
info Pop Origins, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf), 1969
no info Harlan County, Jim Ford, 1969
info I Am The Blues, Willie Dixon, 1970
info Chester Burnette AKA. Howlin' Wolf, Howlin' Wolf, 1972
info Black Melodies on a Clear Afternoon, Stefan Grossman, 1972
no info Allman Joys, Allman Joys, 1973
no info Spoonful, Jimmy Witherspoon, 1975
no info Blues and Jazz Guitar, Mickey Baker, 1977
no info Second Wind, Delbert McClinton, 1978
no info The Earthshaker, Koko Taylor, 1978
no info Hear Me Calling, Ten Years After(1981
no info Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream, Cream, 1983
no info Spoonful, John Hammond, 1984
no info Backtrackin', Eric Clapton, 1984
no info Live Backstage Access, Willie Dixon, 1985
info Gee-El-O-Are-I-Ay, The Shadows Of Knight, 1985
no info Greatest Hits, Howlin' Wolf, 1986
no info Crossroads, Eric Clapton, 1988
info Dreams, The Allman Brothers Band, 1989
info Willie Dixon Chess Box, Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf), 1989
info The Chess Box, Howlin' Wolf, 1991
no info Bronx Blues: The Columbia Recordings, Dion, 1991
no info Chicago Blues Tapes 1991, Pretty Things/Yardbirds, 1991
no info The Individualism of Gil Evans, Gil Evans, 1991
no info Blues, Jazz and Rock Guitar: Legendary Mickey Baker, Mickey Baker, 1992
info Raw 'N Alive at the Cellar, Chicago 1966!, The Shadows Of Knight, 1992
info The Chess Years, Bo Diddley, 1993
no info Wine Women and Whiskey, The Pretty Things, 1994
no info Cities of the Heart, Jack Bruce, 1994
no info Big Mama Thornton 1977, Big Mama Thornton, 1994
no info Moanin' in the Moonlite - 26 Hits, Howlin' Wolf, 1994
no info The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 1995
no info Had My Fun, Karen Carroll, 1995
no info 3000 Volts of Stax, Various Artists, 1995
no info The Original Lost Elektra Sessions, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, 1995
no info Electric Blues, Various Artists, 1996
no info Late '60s Concert at Liberty Hall - Houston, Texas, Willie Dixon/Johnny Winter, 1996
no info Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994 Smithsonian Blues Box, Various Artists, 1996
no info Before the Blues, Vol. 2: The Early American Black Music Scene, Various Artists (Charley Jordan), 1996
no info Those Were the Days, Cream, 1997
no info Matchbox Days, Various Artists, 1997
no info Cool Talkin' Verve, Various Artists, 1997
info His Best, Howlin' Wolf, 1997
info Chess Blues-Rock Songbook, Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf), 1997
no info Chess Blues Classics: 1957-1967, Various Artists, 1997
no info Anthology, Blues Project, 1997
no info The Road I'm On: Retrospective, Dion, 1997
info The Fiji Mariners, The Fiji Mariners, 1998
info Living Country Blues: An Anthology, Various Artists (Lottie Murrell), 1999
no info The Songs of Willie Dixon, Various Artists (Doug Wainoris), 1999
no info Swampin, Clarence Edwards, 199?
no info Smokestack Lightning, Howlin' Wolf, 19??
info The Chess Box, Etta James, 2000
info Genuine Rhythm & the Blues, Delbert McClinton, 2000
info Songs From The Analog Playground, Charlie Hunter Quartet, 2001
info The Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead, Various Artists, 2001
info Columbia, MD - June 18, The Dead, 2003
info Soul Men, Booker T. & the MG's, 2003
no info Instant Live, Charlotte, NC, 10/2/05, Allman Brothers Band, 2005
info Blues Gold, Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf), 2006
info Blowing the Fuse: 31 R&B Classics That Rocked the Jukebox in 1960, Various Artists (Howlin' Wolf), 2006
info Definitive Collection, Howlin' Wolf, 2007
info Electric Willie: A Tribute To Willie Dixon, Elliott Sharp, Henry Kaiser et al, 2010
info Live, Beacon Theater, NYC, 3/25/12, Allman Brothers Band, 2012
info Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Duane Allman / Various Artists, 2013


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 and 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 Complete 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 and 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