The Father of Shock Rock: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Pt. II

0 Posted by - December 22, 2017 - BLACK MEN, BLACK MUSIC, ENTERTAINMENT

While “I Put A Spell On You,” was the song that rocketed his career, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins had a number songs that he performed in a similar nature. Each song that he released during his most active period featured that combination of EC Comics horror-level stage imagery and his tongue-in-cheek comedy.

 

Other Notable Tunes

Released around this time, there were “Feast of the Mau Mau,” “Orange Colored Sky,” “Frenzy,” and of course “Constipation Blues” which he sometimes performed on a toilet. For this song, he used the same wails, grunts, and screams as his landmark song. Most of his records featured some rerecording of these songs in addition to newer songs.

 

Career Longevity

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ career was stretched out in part by a nostalgia movement towards the blues during the 1960s and 1970s. This was particularly true in Europe as the first waves of blues-influenced British bands were forming and starting to perform in the U.S. Hawkins was also did cameo appearances in a number of films that featured his music.

All of this kept him busy throughout the 1980s and 1990s as he would join two bands and record with them: The Fuzztones and Dread Zeppelin. While he continued to perform into 20000, his last record was “Last Call” which released in 1998, 40 years after his debut album “At Home With Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.”

 

In Death

The father of shock rock would pass away as a result of an aneurysm in February 2000. He married six times in his life and said he had as many as 75 children. Between his death in 2000 and a reunion in 2001, 33 children were found.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins directly influenced the likes of Arthur Brown, Screaming Lord Sutch, Alice Cooper, and Marilyn Manson. He also helped pave the way for acts such as Kiss, King Diamond, Judas Priest, Motley Crue and a number of heavy metal acts in regards to mixing high energy and stage theatrics with strong musicianship for the total concert experience.

 

REFERENCES
https://www.biography.com/people/screamin-jay-hawkins-246007
https://www.discogs.com/artist/160905-Screamin-Jay-Hawkins

SELECTED TUNES
-Feast of the Mau Maus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNqO88cIIug
-Whistling Past The Graveyard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRjHAHt6rzs
-I Shot The Sheriff (Wailers cover): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpFw-tI_JpI

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