The Religious Affiliation of Rock and Roll Star
Jay Hawkins

From: David W. Cloud, "1950s Rock -- Creating a Revolution", distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service, copyright 2001 (; viewed 19 July 2005):
Most famous for his 1956 hit "I Put a Spell on You," Screamin' Jay Hawkins (1929-2000) performed and recorded rock & roll and R&B for five decades. The aforementioned song, which was banned by most radio stations, was not merely a form of entertainment. The original recording of "I Put a Spell on You" was done after the Hawkins and his band members got drunk and "some type of presence seemed to seize him." He began "grunting, growling, screaming, gurgling in strange unknown tongues, and wildly dancing around the studio" (Heartbeat of the Dragon, p. 40). Hawkins studied voodoo and had a large library of material on the occult. He was raised by an Indian woman who was involved in occultism. "If my Blackfoot Indian mother was from Africa you would call her a witch doctor; if she was from New Orleans, you'd call her a voodoo priestess. I just put it to music" (Spin magazine, April 1990). Hawkins performed with a skull he called "Henry" and a plastic snake. Other Screamin' Jay songs include such wholesome fare as "Little Demon" (the flip side to "I Put a Spell"), "Baptize Me in Wine," "I Found My Way to Wine," "She Put the Wamee on Me," and "Constipation Blues." Screamin' Jay Hawkins died in February 2000 at age 70.


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Webpage created 19 July 2005. Last modified 19 July 2005.
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