Thursday, September 06, 2012

Joe South RIP

The Vinyl Word raises a glass to Atlanta-born singer, songwriter and guitarist Joe South (born Joe Souter), who has died aged 72. Best known for his big hit Games People Play, Joe was a major figure in sixties soul, pop and beach music, yet faded from view in the seventies following the suicide of his brother, which brought on depression.
His first record of note was the novelty Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor in 1958 and shortly afterwards he wrote songs for Gene Vincent (I Might Have Known and Gone Gone Gone) and later for beach music band the Tams (Untie Me and Concrete Jungle). Recording often in Muscle Shoals, he played guitar on Sheila by Tommy Roe and on recordings by Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel. Other well known songs written by Joe included Down In The Boondocks by Billy Joe Royal and (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson. His first record issued in the UK was Masquerade in 1962 but his biggest success Games People Play came in 1969, followed by Walk A Mile In My Shoes, later covered by Elvis. His career effectively came to an end in 1971 following his brother's death.


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