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I Put a Spell On You

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Album Review

I Put a Spell on You is Screamin' Jay's landmark Epic album from the '50s. His wild-ass reinventions of old, staid standards like "I Love Paris," "Deep Purple," and "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)" must be heard to be believed, but for surrealism at it best, check out "Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle" and a dead straight reading of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" in the middle of all of it. The perfect opening shot from this one-of-a-kind artist.


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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