Strange Music
Comment 1

Casting a Spell with Screaming Jay Hawkins

When Screaming Jay Hawkins originally wrote I Put a Spell on You, he originally envisioned it as a ballad. After recording it as such, the original version wasn’t released, and Hawkins wound up in a studio a year later to re-record the song for Columbia records. This time, his producer showed up with fried chicken and beer, and at the end of the night, the wild, unhinged version we know today had been recorded.

Despite being banned from the radio, the new recording sold over a million copies. The success of the song prompted him to take on a more wild persona, rising out of a coffin with a cape on, surrounded by smoke, for his performances. Snakes on stage and tusks in his nose were added later, completing what is considered one of the first shock rock performances.

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