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Tony Joe White's 1969 album debut featuring the hit "Polk Salad Annie"
Singer-songwriter Tony Joe White's most well-known hit led off this way - "Some of ya'll still never been down South...down there we've got a plant, looks somethin' like a turnip green. 'Cept it ain't."
"Polk Salad Annie" was the song and cadence for delivering White's unmistakable swamp rock sound, which called to mind the sound John Fogerty whipped up on Creedence Clearwater Rivival's Bayou Country and Green River.
Released in 1969, White's album debut Black and White contains some of the best swamp-folk-soul-funk of the era. White grew up in the soggy marshlands of Louisiana, his real-deal deep voice sounding like it's dredged from the bottom of the Delta. Rural life in the dirty south provided the inspiration for witty, sometimes funny, and sometimes poignant lyrics (later Tony Joe would pen the smash "Rainy Night In Georgia").
This Analogue Productions edition is the highest-quality reissue of Black and White released to date. It was mastered from the original analog tape by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, and features unsurpassed plating and pressing on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl by Quality Record Pressings. The dead-silent LP playing surface captures White's voice and his strong and funky backing band in true analog majesty.
Besides "Annie," side one of Black and White includes several other White originals. AllMusic judges the best of these to be "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," a song about race relations with an arrangement similar to "Ballad of Billie Joe," and "Soul Francisco," a short piece of funky fluff that had been a big hit in Europe in 1968. "Aspen, Colorado" presages the later "Rainy Night in Georgia," a White composition popularized by Brook Benton.
The second side of Black and White consists of covers of hits of the era, with the funky "Who's Making Love" and "Scratch My Back" faring better than the slow stuff. Dusty Springfield had a minor hit with "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," and White's songs were recorded by other performers through the years, but "Polk Salad Annie" and the gators that got her granny provided his only march in the American hit parade.
Highly recommended for fans of Creedence Clearwater Revival, J.J. Cale, and 1960s soul!
- 180g Vinyl
- Remastered from original analog tape
- Remastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Plated and pressed by Quality Record Pressings
- Tip-on gatefold jacket by Stoughton Printing
- Album notes include interview with album producer Billy Swan
- Willie And Laura Mae Jones
- Soul Francisco
- Aspen Colorado
- Whompt Out On You
- Don't Steal My Love
- Polk Salad Annie
- Who's Making Love
- Scratch My Back
- Little Green Apples
- Wichita Lineman
- Look Of Love