#POCtober: “I Put a Spell On You”

One of Halloween’s Rare Seasonal Songs

Though, unlike a Christmas carol, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ signature song is at home any time of year, “I Put a Spell on You” is a fitting fixture during this season of magic, mystery and things going bump in the night. Covered by many (both George Clinton and Queen Latifah have given it a fling), it is decidedly Hawkins’ original frantic recording that made the song a standard. His over-the-top, theatrical “witch doctor” stage performances of it hail from a different era – but even in its day the record itself seemed anachronistic, like something hailing from the time of “race records” or Jazz back when it was “Jass.”

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Nina Simone

Benjamin Clémentine

Rocio Riera


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