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

Luke Leilani and His Hawaiian Rhythm: Hawaiian Holiday (1966)

Luke Leilani and His Hawaiian Rhythm: Hawaiian Holiday (1966)

Although there is no shortage of albums by Luke Leilani (and his various groups), getting solid information about him is more difficult. He doesn't rate a mention in the thick Hawaiian Music... > Read more

Candi Staton: I'm Just a Prisoner of Your Good Lovin' (1969)

Candi Staton: I'm Just a Prisoner of Your Good Lovin' (1969)

Now in her early 70s, the great soul and gospel singer Candi Staton is still out there touring and speaking about the healing power of the gospel spirit. Back in the day, her voice was on dance... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Bee Gees; One Night Only (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Bee Gees; One Night Only (Universal)

Although older brother Barry has long been the one with health issues (crippling arthritis for over a decade), it seems strange and sad that his three brothers -- first Andy, then Maurice and more... > Read more

A Small Fire: a short story

A Small Fire: a short story

The coincidences that brought Frank and I together again were like something out of a bad 19th century novel, and perhaps that’s why I have thought about it so often since. Maybe it was what... > Read more