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

Leonard Cohen: Because of (2004)

Leonard Cohen: Because of (2004)

The equation seems simple: Leonard Cohen the self-described "ladies man" + women + bed = But of course nothing is ever quite that straightforward with a Jewish Zen Buddhist... > Read more

Peter Posa: World Without Love (1965)

Peter Posa: World Without Love (1965)

The sheer pervasiveness of the British Invasion in the early Sixties is wel illusrtated in the catalogue of New Zealand guitarist Peter Posa. Posa first emerged in the late Fifites with his... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

AND 10 MORE SHAMEFUL RECORD COVERS I'M PROUD TO OWN

AND 10 MORE SHAMEFUL RECORD COVERS I'M PROUD TO OWN

The occasional installments in this series of shameful record covers which I have in my possession always comes with this caveat: if you're curious about any you shouldn't pay more than $6 for... > Read more

BIEBERMANIA!, a film by THOMAS GIBSON

BIEBERMANIA!, a film by THOMAS GIBSON

In a cover which looks about as far from exciting as that exclamation mark wants us to believe this is, comes yet another unauthorised biography -- this from a director of E! Hollywood True Story... > Read more