Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Loved his music and style; he was the Dr. Strange of Blues/Rock music.

Born on July 18, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio, “Screamin'” Jay Hawkins was a piano prodigy and boxer who worked with Fats Domino and Tiny Grimes. Hawkins had a hit in 1956 with his bombastic take on “I Put a Spell on You.” His career became known for its wild stage antics, with the singer wearing bones and rising out of coffins. After later appearances in film, he died on February 12, 2000 in France.

Breakthrough Song

In the early 1950s, Hawkins worked such artists as Tiny Grimes and Fats Domino before striking out on his own. It took two tries to score a hit with his best-known song, “I Put a Spell on You.” The first version for Okeh Records failed to attract listeners.

During his next attempt for Columbia Records, he and the studio musicians drank heavily during the recording session. The result, which Hawkins claimed not to remember recording, was a bluesy, voodoo-tinged single filled with boisterous vocals, including moans and other sound effects. This version gave him his first hit in 1956.

http://www.biography.com/people/screamin-jay-hawkins-246007

Albums

http://www.amazon.com/Screamin-Jay-Hawkins/e/B000APWFP8

http://www.besteveralbums.com/thechart.php?b=5334

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