Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – The Merv Griffin Show 1966


According to the YouTube blurb, this is the earliest known footage of Screamin’ Jay performing his massive hit ‘I Put A Spell On You’ cut for Okeh Records in 1956.

But according to UK music photographer and archivist Brian Smith, Jay appeared on UK TV before 1966. “The term earliest footage is a bit tenuous, although “earliest surviving footage” may or may not be the case”. Brian says: “Jay appeared on BBC 2’s ‘Gadzooks’ and ABC’s ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ in 1965, to say nothing of Granada’s ‘Scene At 6.30’ and ‘Late Scene’. But I have never seen any re-runs of those. Jay was on Jack Jackson’s Saturday teatime ITV show, (with a US TV clip presumably), of him doing ‘Spell, in the late 1950s. One old schoolmate now in New Zealand mentioned that only recently. US TV seems to preserve its old stuff better than we do, so it may be around somewhere!”

Merv Griffin had over 5000 guests appear on his show from 1963-1986. Footage from the Merv Griffin Show is available for licensing to all forms of media through Reelin’ In The Years Productions. www.reelinintheyears.com.

Screamin’ Jay – what a performer – one of the true rock & roll greats! 

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