In 1956 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins recorded “I Put A Spell On You” in a drunken stupor. According to the Allmusic profile of Hawkins, the song was to have been “a refined ballad.” The alcohol apparently provided the inspiration for the touches that turned the song into his biggest hit by far. Most of the touches that made the song a hit are preserved in the over the top performance captured in the linked video, which fails only to document the emergence from a casket with which Hawkins usually introduced the song. Nina Simone provides a taste of what the song might have sounded like as a refined ballad. I came to the song through the stylings of Arthur Brown on the “Crazy World of Arthur Brown” in 1968. Halloween provides the occasion for retrieving the song today.
UPDATE: Pat Patterson reminds us of the terrific version by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- Subscribe now!... Get rid of ADs!Support Power Line...VIP MembershipPresentsPower Line
2016 Power Line Picks
Most Read on Power Line
- There's something about Hillary's health
- Meet the black Charlotte police officer who shot Keith Lamont Scott
- Our under-incarceration problem, Charlotte edition
- How's the Coverup Going, Hillary?
- Mark Cuban and Gennifer Flowers to Square Off at Monday's Debate? [with comment by Paul]
- What the NFL Can Teach Washington About Social Policy
Subscribe to Power Line by Email
Find us on Facebook
“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell