I doubt that Frank, Dean, and Sammy knew what to make of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. They did, however, have one thing in common: they liked to party.
“Hawkins had originally intended to record “I Put a Spell on You” as “a refined love song, a blues ballad”. However, the producer (Arnold Maxin) “brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version … I don’t even remember making the record. Before, I was just a normal blues singer. I was just Jay Hawkins. It all sort of just fell in place. I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death. “
Jalacy Hawkins wrote and recorded I Put A Spell On You in 1956. It was a hit for him and others artists over the years.
We begin at the beginning with the songwriter’s weirdo version:
John Fogerty loved putting a spell on you so much that he cut the song and made it a centerpiece of CCR’s live act:
Nina Simone. Say no more.
We’re crossing the pond with the next two versions. Bryan Ferry recorded a smooth blues version in 1993.
The great Annie Lennox recorded I Put A Spell On You for that famous bondage movie. Something good had to come of it, y’all.
That’s all, folks. Pour yourselves a drink and toast the end of another week. It’s what Bogie, Berry, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.