Screamin' Jay Hawkins (Jalacy J. Hawkins)
Photos with Screamin' Jay Hawkins
BiographyCleveland, Ohio, USA
Screamin' Jay Hawkins was best known for his song "I Put a Spell On You, " which he recorded on the Okeh label in 1956 and which helped win him cult status in the United States, Europe and Japan. He had originally planned the tune as a ballad, but after a night of heavy drinking he tried again--screaming, yelling and groaning--and never looked back. The snorting, some say "cannibalistic" delivery got "I Put A Spell On You" banned from radio stations across the country. Hawkins went on to use the same demented style again and again. Read more... stage props, often emerging out of coffins during shows. He would wield rubber snakes and fake tarantulas and wear a boar's tooth around his neck or a bone clipped to his nose. Jay Hawkins got his first break in 1951 as a pianist-valet to veteran jazz guitarist Tiny Grimes. His recording debut was 1952's "Why Did You Waste My Time, " backed by Grimes and his Rockin' Highlanders. In the 1960s, Ha!