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Tony Joe White passes at 75

Thursday, October 25, 2018 – Tony Joe White, best known for his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie" and for writing "Rainy Night in Georgia", died on Wednesday at 75 of a heart attack in the Nashville area.

White also was known for his swamp rock style of music. He released a new album last month on the Yep Roc label.

White was born July 23, 1943 in Oak Grove, La. Following high school, he played at clubs in Louisiana and Texas. He was inspired to write his own original material after hearing Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe." In 1967, he signed with Monument Records with Billy Swan as his producer. White released four singles without success in the U.S. That was until "Polk Salad Annie" came out. The song actually had been out for nine month before finally entering the charts in July 1969. It eventually went to number eight on the chart becoming his biggest hit.

Brook Benton scored a big hit with "Rainy Night in Georgia."

He released his first album, "Black and White," in 1969. He had minor hits, but after failing to achieve much success with three albums from 1976-83, he concentrated on songwriting. He wrote four songs on Tina Turner's massive hit disc, "Foreign Affair."

His own career persevered though, recording several albums for Polydor. Changing labels several times, White released "Bad Mouthin'" last month, his third for Yep Roc.

White leaves his wife, Leann, and three children.

More news for Tony Joe White

CD reviews for Tony Joe White

Hoodoo CD review - Hoodoo
It's the nature of the music biz that any artist that boasts only a handful of hits generally has a hard time sustaining a career for any more than a year or two, much less for four decades. So credit Tony Joe White for doing the unimaginable, maximizing the success he scored early on with songs like Polk Salad Annie, Rainy Night in Georgia and Steamy Windows, (the latter two written for Brook Benton and Tina Turner, respectively) and using them to spur a trajectory that's still going strong. »»»
The Shine CD review - The Shine
It's been just over four decades since Tony Joe White eased into the spotlight with Polk Salad Annie, a folk/blues song that established White as a swampy, gritty and slightly more dangerous version of Elvis Presley. At the same time, there was a hint of novelty in Polk Salad Annie ("Gators got your granny, chomp, chomp chomp...") that could have painted White in a corner, but he proved more versatile and durable than his big hit. And although he hasn't had a song nearly as big »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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