Sunday, 18 March 2012

Screamin Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You

Sunday and I feel completely exhausted, the weekend has been in the Top Gear characters, nice cars, big engines, stunts, humor and lots of exhaust fumes :) So today has spent most of the day on the couch and thought about life in general. Now that it's Sunday so it's obviously time for a classic again, we have snowed us into shock rock and horror music, so we continue in the same sign.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins was an American musician, singer, and actor. Famed chiefly for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery and wildly theatrical performances of songs such as "I Put a Spell on You", Hawkins sometimes used macabre props onstage, making him one of the few early shock rockers

Todays tune "I Put a Spell on You" is a 1956 song written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, whose recording was selected as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Although Hawkins' version did not make any charts, several later cover versions have done so.

Hawkins had originally intended to record "I Put a Spell on You" as a refined love song, a blues ballad. He reported, however, that the producer "brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version. I don't even remember making the record. Before, I was just a normal blues singer. I was just Jay Hawkins. It all sort of just fell in place. I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death."

"I Put a Spell on You" became a quick success, despite being banned by some stores and radio stations. A softer version, minus certain sounds deemed "cannibalistic", did not chart but brought Hawkins together with Alan Freed and his "Rock and Roll Review".

Up to this time, Hawkins had been a blues performer; emotional, but not wild. Freed suggested a gimmick to capitalize on the "demented" sound of "I Put a Spell on You": Hawkins wore a long cape, and appeared onstage by rising out of a coffin in the midst of smoke and fog.

The act was a sensation, later bolstered by tusks worn in Hawkins' nose, on-stage snakes and fireworks, and a cigarette-smoking skull named "Henry". The theatrical act was one of the first shock rock performances, and a basis for much that came later in rock and roll, including Dr. John, Alice Cooper, Eric Burdon, Screaming Lord Sutch, Warren Zevon, Arthur Brown (whose band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown recorded "I Put a Spell on You" in 1968), Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent, George Clinton, The Butthole Surfers, The Cramps, and Marilyn Manson.

The first video of the tune ois more like an old fasion video, really cool.

This video is with a full band at a TV show performance.

More info @

Screamin Jay Hawkins MySpace

spotifyListen to ”Screamin Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You" on Spotify here!

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Anonymous said...

Älskar den låten, den är så härligt suggestiv på nåt sätt :)

Fan, vad kul med Top Gear. Har de varit i Globen? Hmm, inte på tv än va?

Stones said...

Låten är ju helt underbar.

Top Gear var kul, 3 föreställningar på Globen under Fredag och Lördag. Inte för att jag är speciellt biltokig, men program ledarna är ju för sköna så det var en underhållande helg minsann.

Micke said...

Marilyn Mansons tidiga föregångare? :-)
Visst är det! :-)