today’s album a day was screamin’ jay hawkins – i put a spell on you.
i don’t know if it was a proper release of his or some oddball compilation, but it seemed like a good sampling of screamin’ jay’s work.
screamin’ jay was a kind of early shock rocker. he often performed in crazy, macabre outfits, sang in a wild, screaming, howling style and performed with things like coffins and other props onstage.
he had a crazy up and down life. he had a hit in 1956 with ‘i put a spell on you’. he went from playing larger venues to things as shabby as barbeque joints. he was a lothario, eventually fathering as many as 75 children with over 50 women.
at times he had money, then he was broke. he got the attention of people like jim jarmusch, who used his music and the man himself as an actor in a couple of small parts. he toured with nick cave and the clash.
there’s a documentary about him i’m going to review, along with a series of other music-based documentaries i’ve been consuming lately. i’ll get more in depth about screamin’ jay then.
his music is operatic, goofy, creepy and wild. below, hear his hit: