1982 Screamin' Jay Hawkins LP "Frenzy"

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1982 Screamin' Jay Hawkins LP FRENZY (GB: Edsel ED 104 / Demon)

country gb.gif GB: Edsel ED 104 / Demon

A 01 () I put a spell on you (Jalacy Hawkins, Slotkin)
A 02 () Little demon (Jalacy Hawkins, Nahan)
A 03 () Alligator wine (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
A 04 () Frenzy (Hill, Stevenson)
A 05 () I love Paris (Cole Porter)
A 06 () Hong Kong (Jalacy Hawkins, Nahan)
A 07 () Person to person (Teddy McRae)
B 01 () There's something wrong with you (Jalacy Hawkins, Nahan)
B 02 () Orange coloured sky (Milton DeLugg, William Stein)
B 03 () Temptation (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
B 04 () Yellow coat (Jalacy Hawkins, Nahan)
B 05 () If you are but a dream (Nat Bonx, Jack Fulton, Moe Jaffe, A. Rubinstein)
B 06 () You made me love you (I didn't want to do it) (Joseph McCarthy, James V. Monaco)
B 07 () Deep purple (Mitchell Parish, Peter de Rose)
  • Production:
  • Recording: Originally recorded for the CBS subsidiary OKeh
  • Musicians: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, more
  • Publishing rights: [A 01, B 01] United Artists Music ; [A 02] April Music Ltd ; [A 03] Carlin Music Corp ; [A 04, 06-07, B 02, 04] Copyright Control ; [A 05] Chappell and Co ; [B 03, 07] Big Three ; [B 05] Campbell Connelly and Co Ltd ; [B 06] Francis Day and Hunter Ltd
  • Mastering: London, CBS Studios. - Tim Young
  • Sleeve design: The Mainline Art Co.
  • Colour tinting: Terry Day
  • Photos: Paul Vernon
  • Liner notes: Roger Eagle, Vinyl Demon
  • Matrix A: ED-104-A1
  • Matrix B: ED-104-B1

Liner notes

The secretary of the Carl Perkins fan club - Brian Smith, and myself, had gone to the Midland Hotel in Manchester to meet Little Richard. Unexpectedly we also met Don Harris and Dewey terry who were employed at that time as Richard's bass player and guitarist. Don and Dewey were immediately cross-examined by Brian and myself for information concerning various American rock & roll legends who at the time were only known to us via their wild and rare recordings. Brian mentioned Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The affable Don and Dewey replied that Jay was still on the scene and working, in of all places Hawaii. We wrote to Hawaii. Jay replied. Jay in fact replied from his hospital bed where he was recuperating after a certain lady singer had seen fit to plunge a large knife into the person of one of the wildest, most outrageous figures who ever stomped through the pages of rock & roll history. Not only did Jay send us all manner of press cuttings and details about himself, but we also received an album from the desk of a man named Jack Cione, who employed Jay in his night-club, and who also ran a label called the Sound Of Hawaii. Included on the album were two tracks by our man - "The Whammy" and "Seems like you just don't care". Next thing that happened was a phone call from a nice man in New York called John Cann. Could we recommend anyone who might be interested in bringing Jay over to England? I suggested the agent who booked a lot of the soul and R&B acts into the Twisted Wheel, where I was the DJ at the time. Before long a welcoming committee from the Wheel had gone to London Airport to meet Jalacy Screamin' Jay Hawkins in person. Jay emerged from customs at six in the morning, setting fire to his beard as he made his entrance. "You don't have to keep us amused all the time" we murmured as we led him away for questioning.

A master of true-image rock & roll musicianship, Jay appeared in a cape, turban, and shades, carrying with him a skull called Henry. Palm-concealed flash paper ignited by cigarette-smoking Henry heralded his entrances. FLASH... a series of images... Jay backstage at the Wheel concealed behind a door, the featured artisteof the evening was T-Bone Walker; Jay having last seen him some fourteen years previously when there had been some trouble concerning a trombone fired from an Arkansas Hotel window at three a. m. Jay leapt from behind the door as T-Bone was making his way to the stage, utterly destroying the bluesmaster's sense of reality... later Jay joined T-Bone on stage for a stunning version of "Mumblin' Blues"... Jay driving Neil's Anglia at full throttle down Wilmslow Rd., left wheels touching the kerb, singing at the top of his voice... a burst of opera when interviewed by Jimmy Saville on TV... Jay enhancing some lucky young couple's wedding, when, appearing into the afternoon summer sunlight they were greeted by the sight of Screamin' Jay Hawkins leaning from his hotel window opposite the church, waving Henry and firing blanks from a .32 shouting "Shame on you!"... memories of tours in the States in the fifties with Chuck Willis and Nappy Brown... each in their Cadillacs with a case of Scotch, Bourbon or Brandy in the trunk of their cars stopping by the side of the road to set up a bar... Jay appearing at the Apollo - emerging scratched and torn from his coffin; the man had had a monkey with him at the time and the release catch had stuck... A nightclub owner in Chicago who had been reluctant to part with Jay's fee, being asked to ignite the gunpowdrer in the special effects box at the side of the stage - Jay had thoughtfully primed it with three times the normal amount of powder - nightclub owner losing eyebrows... Jay onstage... the stage in pitch darkness... a terrifying bang which scared the audience silly... Jay emerging into the spotlight over the "I put a spell on you" riff, Henry smoking a cigarette (you know smoking's bad for you, look at Henry) FLASH... Jay's rich baritone coming as though from the back of a swamp-filled cave... howling, screaming, grunting the lyrics, Jay suddenly whipping out a battered tenor sax, blasting the enthralled audience with all the power his lungs could command... the red spotlight, white turban, shades, a skull on the end of a pole... BANG!... FLASH!... "I put a spell on you... because... you're mine... SCREAM... all mine... CRASH!"... and now a whole album full of the choicest cuts from the man's repertoire... play it loud and often.

Roger Eagle April 1982


Trying to say anything serious or meaningful about this man's music is nigh on impossible. Just one listen to any track on this LP will show that Screamin' Jay was and is, to say the least "a character". The tracks included here were recorded for the CBS subsidiary label OKeh in the wake of the success of his best known song "I put a spell on you". "Spell" was finally nailed in the studio with the entire band in an advanced state of drunkeness and the resulting track so offended the sensibilities of radio programmers that it was promptly banned for sounding "cannibalistic" and mysteriously never appeared on any "charts" despite supposedly having sold in excess of a million copies.

Jay was blessed with an extraordinarily powerful voice, capable it seems of inflicting actual bodily harm and, but for the fame that came his way as a result of the persona established by "Spell" might well have found success as a more conventional rhythm and blues or ballad singer.

Jalacey Hawkins is not an ordinary man and this is not an ordinary record. Play it and be damned.

Vinyl Demon

P. S. If you feel the need to hear more of Jay's recordings we recommend Red Lightning LP SCREAMIN' THE BLUES [RL 0025].

All issues

1982 Screamin' Jay Hawkins LP FRENZY country gb.gif GB: Edsel ED 104 / Demon
1982 Screamin' Jay Hawkins MC FRENZY country gb.gif GB: Edsel / Demon
1994 Screamin' Jay Hawkins CD FRENZY country gb.gif GB: Edsel EDCD 104 / Demon