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Billy Joe Royal - "Hush" (1967 Columbia)

Cover Image for Billy Joe Royal - "Hush" (1967 Columbia)

w Joe South; Single, Columbia – 4-44277

Who knew the pre-Ian Gillan Deep Purple classic was a cover? Of a Billy Joe Royal song no less? Probably anyone actually alive at the time...I also didn't know the singer of "Down in the Boondocks" fame was American and not English. But alas.

A couple years after the success of "Down in the Boondocks", Royal recorded this song that would go on to headline his 1967 album Billy Joe Royal Featuring "Hush". Unfortunately it would not be nearly as much of a hit, and in selecting "Hush" Royal passed on recording another Joe South composition, Lynn Anderson's 1970 number-three hit (number one on the Country charts) "Rose Garden".

The original version of "Hush" certainly sounds like it's got a foot in two worlds...at least. Royal's poppy, almost teen-idol voice against a contemporary-for-1967 Soul arrangement makes for a much more transitional-sounding record than Deep Purple's fairly-hard rock cover from a year later.

Of course the latter is one of the greatest tracks of all time (which is admittedly a longer list than maybe is meaningful...) but Royal's "Hush" is quite strong as well. Probably it would be a cult classic had Deep Purple not picked it up and run with it...

Also Check Out:

By Elvis Presley (also written by Joe South):

"Walk a Mile in My Shoes (Live)" - YouTube | Spotify

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