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

National Lampoon: I'm A Woman (1975)

National Lampoon: I'm A Woman (1975)

Before they got into movies like Animal House and the Vacation series (with Chevy Chase), National Lampoon was a satirical magazine which also delivered a very funny sideline in records such as... > Read more

Howard Morrison: Howie the Maori/Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (1982)

Howard Morrison: Howie the Maori/Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (1982)

The late Sir Howard Morrison was a complex character. He was a master of self-placement in the public domain (at Michael Jackson's side when the singer visited) and although some skewered him for... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Todd Rundgren; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Todd Rundgren; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

With the ever-evolving Rundgren scheduled to play in New Zealand see interview here) here was a five CD collection of some of his albums from 1970-83 which skip over his double album... > Read more