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Live It Up 49: Steamy Windows – RIP Tony Joe White

I was sad to read of the passing of singer-songwriter Tony Joe White, who died last week. His was an idiosyncratic voice.

I have already noted his sole UK hit Groupy Girl. His greatest success was perhaps as a writer of songs made famous by others. Elvis Presley recorded Polk Salad Annie (I featured White’s version here.) Tina Turner had a big hit with Steamy Windows in 1989. White’s version is a bit less strident.

Tony Joe White: Steamy Windows

White’s breakthrough as a songwriter came with Rainy Night in Georgia which has been covered multiple times. His original is still quite soulful, though.

Tony Joe White: Rainy Night in Georgia

Tony Joe White: 23/7/1943 –24/10/2018. So it goes.

Joe South

Joe South whose Games People Play was no. 65 in my Friday on my Mind posts has died.

Joe was multi-talented. He played all the instruments on Games People Play as well as singing and writing the song. He contributed to Bob Dylan’s LP Blonde on Blonde as a bass player and to Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools.

I have also featured his song Hush with which Deep Purple had their first British hit. Joe’s version can be found on You Tube.

After Games People Play won a Grammy Award Joe felt under pressure to come up with great songs every time. Many other artists have covered his songs including Elvis Presley with Walk a Mile in my Shoes. Joe’s version of that song is below. He also had a Grammy nomination with (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden with which Lyn Anderson had a big hit.

Joe South: Walk a Mile in my Shoes

Joe South (Joseph Souter) 28/2/1940 – 5/9/2012. So it goes.

Friday On My Mind 31: Polk Salad Annie

No psychedelia this week. Swamp rock instead.

And not by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Who’d have thought that two different acts would have mined such an unlikely seam of inspiration?

It was only while looking this one up that I realised Tony Joe White had also written Steamy Windows, made famous by Tina Turner. Rainy Night In Georgia was one of his too. I was going to post his Groupy Girl in this slot till I discovered that was actually from 1970.

Polk Salad Annie is perhaps better known because Elvis (Presley) recorded it a while later. It contains an immortal two lines:-

“Polk Salad Annie,
The gator’s got your granny.”

Brilliant!

But this wasn’t a hit in the UK (or if it was, it was a small one.)

Tony Joe White: Polk Salad Annie

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