Written by Tony Joe White
Released in 1968 off his first album: Black and White.
Tony Joe White – Guitar, Harmonica
David Briggs: Piano, Organ
Norbert Putnam – Bass
Chip Young – Guitar
Jimmy Isbell – Drums
Talk about some blue-eyed soul this mans sound epitomized it.
Born in Goodwill, Louisiana he wrote the song from having been raised and experienced those roots in the swamplands where he was born in 1943. Oak Grove, La. situated just west of the Mississippi River, it’s a land of cotton-fields, where polk salad grows wild and alligators lurk in moss-covered swamps.
“I spent the first 18 years of my life down there, “My folks raised cotton and corn. There were lotsa times when there weren’t too much to eat, and I ain’t ashamed to admit that we’ve often whipped up a mess of polk salad. Tastes alright too.. a bit like spinach.”
L’Acadiane – Cajun French mixed in with Cherokee Indian was the genetic make up for Tony Joe White. The ” Swamp Rock ” sound was a mix of gut wrenching story telling blues, Texas, R&B, Country & Rock-n-Roll.
Call it what you will, I call it honest.
Other artists seem to make more money off White’s songs than him. But then didn’t all the Rock-n-Roll artists make there’s off the likes of Big Momma Thorton & Chuck Berry.
The prettiest song that holds a special place in the heart for me ( and there were many more written by this man), was ” A Rainy Night In Georgia ” I thought it was an absolute gem. And even though White wrote it and it was covered by so many artists, Brooke Benton’s version reigns the best in my book. It just puts your mind in a different place from where you’re actually at. Talking about ” so good it hurts “.
But when Polk Salad Annie came out I don’t believe there was a single soul that didn’t believe that a black man wasn’t singing this song. To me this was a compliment to Tony Joe White. His style and his sound, like nobody else’s. And that is what makes the music.
And as South Louisiana prepares to be flooded. know when it comes that with it comes thoughts from every place and person in the U.S.
Stay strong Cajun Country.