Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Spellbound

David Burke, Vintage Rock, Summer 2018

FOR SOMEONE whose live performances involved climbing out of a coffin, it came as no surprise that Screamin' Jay Hawkins resurrected his career in the 1980s, with a little help from some hip fans who became friends. Among them were garage rockers the Fuzztones and cult film-maker Jim Jarmusch. Arguably the latter played a pivotal role in Hawkins' revival, using his signature song, 'I Put A Spell On You', in Stranger Than Paradise, and then casting the eccentric singer as the night clerk of a run-down Memphis flophouse in Mystery Train, a triptych of stories evoking the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Total word count of piece: 3045


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.