Elemental Music proudly presents an LP reissue of the second album by the great singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, What That Is? It was originally released on the Philips label in 1969, almost ten years after he cut most of his classics, such as the unforgettable “I Put a Spell on You”. Back in the day, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins put the show in show business. His voodoo-inspired stage act included fireworks, flash powder, snakes, shrunken heads, and his faithful companion, a skull named Henry. To start his concerts, he was carried on in a coffin, from which he
leaped, as if risen from the dead, often sending a good portion of his audience scampering for the exits. Caught live in 1969 at the Club Amigo in North Hollywood (but edited later in the studio), What That Is? features Hawkins at his raw, unhinged best. A rare and sought after LP, it is reissued here in its original form. The backing band is also terrific, with the great Earl Palmer on drums for most of the cuts, guitarist Herb Ellis as guest on a few songs (among them “Feast of the Mau Mau”), Lyle Ritz on bass, Plas Johnson on sax, and arrangements by Shorty Rogers.
Producer’s Note: This album was recorded live at the Club Amigo in North Hollywood on June 23rd and 24th, Nineteen Hundred and Yesterday, and is dedicated to President Nixon, whose efforts to recapture the era of the early 50’s do not pass unnoticed.
Produced by Milan Melvin Engineered by Hank Citalo Seconds • Mark Harmon & Russ Schmidt Graphics by Greg Irons Photography by Dunstan Pereira Back up Vocals on: Ask Him: Billy Watkins Singers Do You Really Love Me?: Carl “Beef” Gottlieb, Christopher “Egg” Ross, Sal Valentino, Deirdre La Porte, Tom Reid , Théa Marcus, String Arrangements on I’m Lonely by Shorty Rogers, All vocals and piano by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Earl Palmer • Drums, Lyle Ritz • Bass, Plas Johnson • Saxes, Mike Anthony • Guitar & Banjo
…on all selections except: Eddie Hoh • Drums, Ron Johnson • Bass, Grahame Bond • Piano, Ernest McLean • Banjo…on I’m Lonely & Stone Crazy, and… Herb Ellis • Guitar, …on Feast of the Mau Mau, Thing Called Woman & Ask Him.
What That Is 2:12
Feast of the Mau Mau 3:25
Do You Really Love Me? 2:10
Stone Crazy 2:07
I Love You 4:17
Constipation Blues 4:30
I’m Lonely 2:28
Thing Called Woman 2:35
I’m Your Man 3:17
Ask Him 3:03