Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: “Little Demon” (Okeh 4-7072, 1956)
A little Halloween mayhem for you on this October 31st.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, his band, and their engineer were all raging drunk when they recorded this, which was originally released as the b-side to his million-selling breakthrough “I Put A Spell On You.” They were drunk recording “Spell,” too. This was fortuitous, because Hawkins had been a pretty average blues singer up to that point, and these two weird songs they came out of the session with remade him in a completely new mold. He added “Screamin’” to his stage name, and the rest is, well, you know.
Screamin’ Jay went on to have a long, fruitful, and totally bizarre career, making records to varying degrees as wild as this one. He also went on to father a legendary, and still undetermined, number of children out wedlock. They even had a reunion in 2001.