Halloween Flashback Track #1: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “I Put A Spell On You”

Halloween is upon us.  A day for costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, cider, jack-o-lanterns, scary movies, and fun.  But in your plans to transform after work and go out into the night, don’t forget to put on a good selection of Halloween tunes.  Paste Magazine already hit up its “13 Scariest Bands of All Time” List of the Day, which inspired me to think of who I’d put at the top.  When it comes down to it there is everything witchy about the song “I Put A Spell On You.” So many artists have covered it, and its featured in my favorite Halloween movie “Hocus Pocus“, but no one does it creepier than it’s songwriter, Screaming Jay Hawkins.  According to various sources it was supposed to be a bluesy love ballad, however, Hawkins showed up at the studio, got the band drunk, and recorded the eerie, tricked-out 1956 classic that we’ve come to know instead. He lived it up in performance as well, dawning costumes, face paint, and props to really spook audiences during this song. Above all, I’d say the scariest fact about Hawkins is the fact that upon his death he was said to have anywhere from 50-75 kids by who knows how many women.

Happy Halloween.


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