Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Band members               Related acts

- Mike Anthony - guitar, banjo

- Plas Johnson - sax

- Screamin' Jay Hawkins (aka Jalacy Hawkins) (RIP 2000) -

  vocals, keyboards

- Earl Palmer - drums

- Lyle RItz - bass



- none known





Genre: soul

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  What That Is!

Company: Philips

Catalog: PHS 600-319

Year: 1969

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4692

Price: $40.00

Cost: $66.00


With his musical career in hiatus, the mid-1960s found Screamin' Jay Hawkins living in semi-retirement in Hawaii (not a bad place to be).  Ironically Hawkins enjoyed a series of late 1960s successes in the UK which in turn caught the attention of numerous record labels, including Phlips which promptly signed him to a new contract.


Produced by Milan Melvin 1969's "What It Is!" was billed as a concert set (recorded live at the Club Amigo in North Hollywood June 23rd and 24th nineteen hundred and yesterday).  In spite of the liner notes, this the album featured twelve new original studio tracks.  Backed by a tight band including guitarist Mike Anthony and drummer Earl Palmer, Hawkins' unique sound remained instantly recognizable and eccentric beyond description.  Unfortunately Hawkins simply didn't know whether to remain a novelty act, or to follow his R&B instincts.  As a result the album's all over the map.  Tracks like 'I Love You' and 'Dig!' are interesting in showcasing Hawkins' blues roots.  Those tracks show he could sound surprisingly mainstream when he wanted to.  Elsewhere, 'Feast of the Mau Mau', 'Constipation Blues' and 'Thing Called Woman' offered up the bizarre novelty act Hawkins.  Not a great LP, but it has enough entertainment value to be worth a spin (particularly if you can find it without paying a fortune).


"What That Is!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) What That Is   (Jalacy Hawkins) - 2:12

2.) Feast of the Mau Mau   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 3:25

3.) Do You Really Love Me?   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 2:10

4.) Stone Crazy   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 2:07

5.) I Love You   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 4:17

6.) Constipation Blues   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 4:20


(side 2)
1.) I'm Lonely   (
Jalacy Hawkins)  - 2:28

2.) Thing Called Woman   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 2:25

3.) Dig!   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 3:08

4.) I'm Your Man   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 3:17

5.) Ask Him   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 3:03

6.) Reprise   (Jalacy Hawkins)  - 2:15




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