Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Monkberry Moon Delight (1972)

 |   |  1 min read

Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Monkberry Moon Delight (1972)

With Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram album being given the reissue treatment -- and album critically derided on release in '71 but a longtime Essential Elsewhere album and now picking up highly favourable reviews -- it is timely to post this track by the great Screamin' Jay Hawkins (who is interviewed here).

Throughout his career McCartney to that point had drawn on interesting source material and had often written in the style of his heroes. The terrific rocker I'm Down was clearly copped from Little Richard, Got to Get You into My Life tapped into the popular horn-driven Northern Soul scene, Lady Madonna drew on Fats Domino, he pulled from vaudeville and music hall (When I'm 64, Maxwell's Silver Hammer) and so on.

Those in the know only need a few bars of this nonsense rocker on Ram to say "Screamin' Jay Hawkins".

The original coffin-kicking, spooky voodoo screaming rhythm and blues rocker carrying a skull and dressed in a robe, Hawkins -- who died in 2000 -- inspired the likes of Screaming Lord Sutch and Arthur Brown. His stage character had an entertaining routine also, but what few credit him with was a thrilling delivery in the manner of a Hammer Horror James Brown.

His biggest hit was a throaty and extreme take on I Put a Spell on You in '56, although Constipation Blues is a favourite of many. 

He was also smart, so when he heard Monkberry Moon Delight he knew it was written in his style, so . . .

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Chris - Jun 6, 2012

I love this song!! And amazingly the last time I heard it outside of NZ was in Barcelona... Well, I thought it was amazing....

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Unforgiven: All is Quiet on the Western Front (1986)

The Unforgiven: All is Quiet on the Western Front (1986)

Some time in the early Nineties I met up with two of the guys from Cracker at a bar in New York, and towards the end of our conversation the talk turned to what they had done before their alt.rock... > Read more

Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs: Wooly Bully (1964)

Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs: Wooly Bully (1964)

When this out-of-the-blue single raced around the globe at the height of Beatlemania it sounded like a typically gimmicky hit of the period. The band name, Sam wearing a turban and the group... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jacco Muller and Victor Ghannam: Viento del Desierto (Mihrab)

Jacco Muller and Victor Ghannam: Viento del Desierto (Mihrab)

This exotic blend of flamenco guitar and oud alternates between the thrilling and the exotic, and succeeds on both counts. Libertad, driven by urgent clapping and with the vocals of Doris... > Read more

MARIJUANA: My life in a happy place; no apologies

MARIJUANA: My life in a happy place; no apologies

As the 21st century dawned there was considerable argument in New Zealand about whether marijuana should be decriminalist, a debate prompted by a Green MP Nandor Tanczos attempting to bring a bill... > Read more