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Live At the Olympia, Paris 1998

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Album Review

A Screamin' Jay Hawkins live recording doesn't equal being there, but it gives you an idea of the zany, bizarre persona that made the late Cleveland, Ohio native legendary. Hawkins, whose real name is Jalacy, performs a slew of remakes including ghoulish renditions of the Isley Brothers' "Shout," Bobby Day's "Itty Bitty One," Fats Domino's "Please Don't Leave Me," and Eugene Church's "Pretty Girls Everywhere." But most of the tracks derived from Hawkins' notion, lotion, and potions' school of composition and possess screamish titles like "Bite It," "Constipation Blues," and "I Put a Spell on You." It helps to vision Hawkins' stalking on a stage with an opened coffin when you listen to this CD.


Born: 18 July 1929 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Screamin' Jay Hawkins was the most outrageous performer extant during rock's dawn. Prone to emerging out of coffins on-stage, a flaming skull named Henry his constant companion, Screamin' Jay was an insanely theatrical figure long before it was even remotely acceptable. Hawkins' life story is almost as bizarre as his on-stage schtick. Originally inspired by the booming baritone of Paul Robeson, Hawkins was unable to break through as an opera singer. His boxing prowess was every bit as lethal as...
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