|Birth name||Peter W. Blankfield|
|Also known as||Woofa Goofa|
|Born||March 7, 1946|
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Years active||1964 - present|
Early life and education
Peter Wolf was born on March 7, 1946 in The Bronx neighborhood of New York City. He attended the High School of Music & Art, located in west Harlem near the Apollo Theater.[when?] He often attended the Apollo, seeing many of the famous soul, rhythm & blues, and gospel artists who influenced him.
In 1964, Wolf and fellow art students Paul Shapiro (guitar), Doug Slade (guitar), Joe Clark (bass), and Stephen Jo Bladd (drums) formed a group called The Hallucinations. They performed at nightclubs in the Combat Zone area of Boston and developed a large following as one of the first bands to play at the Boston Tea Party. During this period, they appeared on bills with The Velvet Underground, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison (who became close with Wolf while residing in nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts), John Lee Hooker, and Sun Ra.
During his time performing with the Hallucinations, Wolf was asked to help establish Boston's radio station WBCN and became their first all-night deejay creating the moniker 'Woofa Goofa' as his on-air personality. His show became a popular late night staple where he interviewed many of the well-known rock, blues, and jazz artists that were touring through Boston in the late 1960s.
In 1967, Wolf and Bladd joined the J. Geils Band, which included members Magic Dick (harmonica), Danny Klein (bass) and Jay Geils (guitar). With the addition of Seth Justman (keyboards), the final line-up of the group was complete. Wolf and keyboardist Seth Justman were responsible for most of the band's songwriting. During the early days of MTV, the band enjoyed heavy airplay of their videos "Centerfold" and "Love Stinks". They toured stadiums with the Rolling Stones and others. Following the success of Freeze Frame, the other band members wanted to take the band in a new pop direction musically, but Wolf wanted to stick to a more roots based direction so he was asked to leave in 1983. The J. Geils Band released one “techno pop” record without Wolf with Justman replacing Wolf as lead vocalist. The record had no commercial success, they did no live performance to promote the record and they were dropped from their recording contract. They dissolved shortly thereafter. In the ensuing years the band has been nominated five times for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Wolf's first solo record Lights Out (1984) was produced with Michael Jonzun, of the Jonzun Crew, and featured Adrian Belew, G. E. Smith, Elliot Randall, Yogi Horton, Mick Jagger, Elliot Easton, and Maurice Starr. The single "Lights Out" written with Don Covay became a hit the same year, peaking at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1987, Wolf released his second solo album Come as You Are, with the title track notching Wolf another top-15 hit on the pop chart and a number one hit on the Mainstream Rock Chart. A later single titled "Can't Get Started" also had wide radio play.
His album Long Line (1996) and Fool's Parade (1998) started his collaboration with singer/songwriter Kenny White producing. Sleepless (2002) featured guest appearances from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and was highly praised by Rolling Stone. as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Wolf has collaborated with Angelo Petraglia and long-time writing partner Will Jennings.
His eighth solo album, A Cure for Loneliness, was released in April 2016.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|Come as You Are||
|Up to No Good||
|A Cure for Loneliness||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Year||Song||US Hot 100||US MSR||US Dance||AUS||CAN||Album|
|1984||"Lights Out"||12||6||11||46||15||Lights Out|
|1984||"I Need You Tonight"||36||22||-||85|
|1987||"Come as You Are"||15||1||49||72||29||Come as You Are|
|1987||"Can't Get Started"||75||16||-|
|1990||"99 Worlds"||77||9||-||56||Up to No Good|
|1996||"Long Line"||-||-||-||Long Line|
|1998||"Turnin' Pages"||-||-||-||Fool's Parade|
- "Peter W. Blankfield - Genealogy". Geni.com. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- Skelly, Richard; Jurek, Thom. "Biography: Peter Wolf". AMG. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- "Peter Wolf's 'Cure for Loneliness': Music With An Undercurrent Of Melancholy". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- Coffey, Carl (March 7, 2018). "It's the Woofa Goofa Peter Wolf's birthday". US103.com. Townsquare Media, Inc. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "The Hallucinations". The Music Museum of New England. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- Gottlieb, Jed (December 7, 2010), "Peter Wolf, Amanda Palmer lead BMA winners", Boston Herald
- Perry, Jonathan (December 6, 2010), "Uke in hand, Palmer tops Music Awards", The Boston Globe
- Horowitz, Hal (April 7, 2016), "Peter Wolf: A Cure for Loneliness", American Songwriter
- Lester, Peter (5 October 1981). "Dunaway Does Crawford". People. New York City. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
- Giles, Jeff (August 7, 2015). "45 Years Ago: J. Geils Band Singer Peter Wolf Marries Aactress Faye Dunaway". ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Billboard 200". Billboard.
- "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Rock Albums". Billboard.
- "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Folk Albums". Billboard.
- "Peter Wolf - Chart history - Independent Albums". Billboard.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 342. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Swedish Charts > Peter Wolf". swedishcharts.com Hung Medien.
- "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
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