My Dad says my Mom is the reason we know about Tony Joe White. She dragged his album “Homemade Ice Cream” home one day I guess. It was probably on sale. That woman doesn’t buy anything that isn’t on sale.
Right now in my ears is the track “No News Is Good News.” This guy was so good. I think they wanted to bank him as a more southern Elvis than Elvis. And don’t get me wrong, I love Elvis. But Tony Joe White really was a more southern Elvis, a more authentic Elvis, a more convincingly horny Elvis, an Elvis who sang from his balls rather than his ambition, an Elvis who performed on a swap boat rather than on a Vegas stage. I’m not saying I don’t love Elvis. I do. But Elvis I just look at. Tony Joe White makes me faint.
This was especially salient tonight as I just was bored enough to watch Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. It is a really beautiful film. Austin Butler’s Elvis is surprisingly convincing, as it Tom Hanks as Col. Parker. It is a joy to watch and I think nets that Queen biopic from a few years ago. It’s excellent. And, among the scenes is Elvis covering a bit too on-the-nose “Polk Salad Annie.” Which, yes, actually happened.
Elvis covering Tony Joe White doing Elvis. Sometimes perfection just presents itself in art.
Thank you to my Mom for bringing us Tony Joe White. I still have that album and will keep it forever.