Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Gene Sculatti, Sony/Epic Records, 1991

As with most successful artists, Screamin' Jay Hawkins career hung on lots of ifs... It might not have happened at all if his first manager hadn't sold the young blues singer's contract to another manager for $50... if an Epic A&R man hadn't heard something "weird and primitive" in Jay's ballad ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and turned Jay's first OKeh recording session into a drunken soiree in order to set free the wildness in the song... if Alan Freed had stopped peeling hundreds off that roll of bills he was holding to persuade Jay to start his stage act by climbing out of a coffin...

Total word count of piece: 1904