Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I remember loving this song when I was a kid, but I could have sworn a black man did it, even if his name was White. The swampy growl in the voice. The Leezy-anna blues sound. The grunts. No, Tony Joe White must be an honorary black man. (Come to find out he also wrote “Rainy Night In Georgia,” which I also loved at the time, only the popular version of that song was by “the incomparable Brook Benton,” who was indeed black.)
Maybe White had a great career, but to me he’s like an Elvis who didn’t sell out to Las Vegas. He’s got that natural, “this is really me” feel, and he sure as hell sells this number.
I picked this performance over another one because of the cool wah wah bit at the end, but the other one (from Britain) pointed out in a subtitle halfway through, “Polk salad is eaten by poor rural communities in the Deep South.”
As White points out, though, “They did all right.”