Cultural Percussionist

Screaming Jay Hawkins Day

JalacyScreamin’ JayHawkins (July 18, 1929 – February 12, 2000) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Famed chiefly for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery and wildly theatrical performances of songs such as “I Put a Spell on You“, he sometimes used macabre props onstage, making him an early pioneer of shock rock.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Hawkins studied classical piano as a child and learned guitar in his twenties. His initial goal was to become an opera singer (Hawkins cited Paul Robeson as his musical idol in interviews), but when his initial ambitions failed he began his career as a conventional blues singer and pianist.

Share this post

Leave a Comment