Initially tempted as a romantic blues ballad for Grand records in Philadelphia, owned by coauthor Herb Slotkin. That original one track tape, cut at Rec-O-Art, was preserved. In September '56 recut in the well known frenzy waltz way for Okeh, with a sloppy drunk Sam 'The Man' Taylor on sax and Mickey Baker on guitar. The ghoulish coda was shortened afterwards. If you want to hear the full monty, rely on the Edsel lp Stewed Moonbeams In Wavy Gravy and on the Epic cd Cow Fingers And Mosquito Pie. In fact his Okeh version is to be regarded as a parody on his own original, a bit like Spike Jones would have treated it.
Nina Simone [more influential than Hawkins; as was the case with House Of he Rising Sun, her version preceded the whole British invasion]
Alan Price Set [after leaving The Animals]
Caterina Caselli [as Puoi Farmi Piangere]
Gants Blancs [as Pourquoi j'ai cru en toi]
Nicoletta [as Ca devait arriver]
Creedence Clearwater Revival [n°3 NL in '72]
Sextons [as Je pense a toi]
Bette Midler [in film Hocus Pocus]
Bryan Ferry [most versions as intense love song]
Marilyn Manson [and in David Lynch film Lost Highway]
Jools Holland [with David Gilmour and Mica Paris]
Jeff Beck [with Joss Stone]
Screaming Jay was an ex boxing pro from Cleveland and a former member of jump blues band Tiny Grimes & His Rocking Highlanders, weird enough to perform in kilts. Much to Jay Hawkins' annoyance, who preferred a voodoo act, including deadhead, coffin and cape.