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Black and White was the first album released by Tony Joe White. It contained the single "Polk Salad Annie" which was a staple of Elvis Presley's live sets in the 1970's. It was recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Nashvillemarker and produced by Billy Swan.

"Polk Salad Annie"'s lyrics describe the lifestyle of a generic Southern girl. Traditionally, the term to describe the type of food highlighted in the song is "poke salad." Its 1968 single release peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The single, released by Monument Records had been out nine months before it finally charted, and had been written off by Monument as a failure. Said White: "They had done given up on it, but we kept getting all these people in Texas coming to the clubs and buying the record. So we would send up to Nashville saying, 'Send us a thousand more this week.' They would send us these 'Do Not Sell' examples, so we would have to sit down and mark out the 'Do Not Sell' and then send them to the record stores. All these stores in South Texas kept calling our house saying, 'We need more.' So we just kept hanging on. And finally a guy in L.A. picked it up and got it across. Otherwise, 'Polk' could have been lost forever."

The song vividly recreates the Southern roots of White's childhood and his music reflects this earthy rural background. As a child he listened not only to local bluesmen and countrysingers but also to the Cajun-music of Louisiana, that rare hybrid of traditional musical styles introduced by French setlers at the turn of the century.

His roots lie in the swamplands of Oak Grove, Louisiana, where he was born in 1943. Situated just west of the Mississippi River, it's a land of cottonfields, where polk salad grows wild and alligators lurk in moss-covered swamps. "I spent the first 18 years of my life down there," said White "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."

Track listing

All tracks composed by Tony Joe White; except where indicated

Side One

  1. "Willie And Laura Mae Jones"
  2. "Soul Francisco"
  3. "Aspen Colorado"
  4. "Whompt Out On You"
  5. "Don't Steal My Love"


Side Two

  1. "Polk Salad Annie"
  2. "Who's Making Love" (Banks, Crutcher, Davis, Jackson)
  3. "Scratch My Back" (Moore)
  4. "Little Green Apples" (Russell)
  5. "Wichita Lineman" (Jimmy Webb)
  6. "Look of Love" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David)


Personnel



Alternative Cover


Reissues

Black and White was re-released on by Movieplay/Intermusic from Portugalmarker in 1993 with a different cover and a different title ("Polk Salad Annie").

It was reissued in 1997 by Warner Bros. containing two additional songs - "Ten More Miles To Louisiana" (Tony Joe White) and "Georgia Pines" (by Buddy Buie and John Adkins).

Notes and references

  1. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fcfuxqq5ldae
  2. http://www.martin-doppelbauer.de/TJW/life2.htm
  3. http://leocort.nl/index_t.html



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