Just months before Tony Joe White passed away he re-recorded his classic ‘Polk Salad Annie’ with Robert Cray.
White was preparing for the 50th anniversary of ‘Polk Salad Annie’, his first hit song.
‘Polk Salad Annie’ was originally released on Tony Joe White’s 1968 debut album ‘Black and White’. The song was released as a single in June 1969 and reached no 8 in the USA and Australia.
The original recording featured a band of Elvis Presley musicians, bass player Norbert Putnam, Muscle Shoals drummer Jerry Carrigan and keyboard player David Briggs. Elvis would go on to record the song as well.
This new version of ‘Polk Salad Annie’ turned out to be the last song Tony Joe White would record before his death at age 75 in October 2018. White and Cray are joined by Tony Joe’s longtime drummer Bryan Owings and a three-piece horn section.
The new single was produced by Tony Joe White’s son Jody White. “That was one of my dad’s strengths as an artist and man,” Jody White relates. “He was always laid-back, nonchalant, and cool.
“He was also a gentleman, and classy. He would never brag about himself — although I don’t know an artist or songwriter who had such a lack of musical boundaries and appealed to as many songwriters in as many different genres as he did. And he had his own guitar style, which was also laid-back, even while it drove every band that supported him and every song he played.”
The new edition of Polk Salad Annie was released July 23 to mark Tony Joe’s 76th birthday.