Deep Purple: “Hush”

ALBUM: Shades of Deep Purple

YEAR: 1968

WRITER: Joe South

Peaked at number-four on the Billboard Hot 100.

Early on, Deep Purple mixed covers of recent songs with original material. In a 1990s interview, late organist Jon Lord recalled the band’s version of a little known song by American artist Billy Joe Royal, “Hush.” “It was a minor dancehall hit in England. It was played in the rock clubs and it had that [sings] sort of rhythm underneath it. All we did was we took that rhythm and exaggerated it. And I did this weird thing, I hit the organ keys like bongos. It made those weird sounds that you hear at the beginning. There was no real attempt to do a hit record. It was a track that was meant for the album. And the guy at the record company here in the States, he said, ‘That’s a hit.’ And we said, ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’ He said, ‘What do you know about hits?’ We said, ‘Nothing.’ And he said, ‘Okay.’ And they put it out and it was.”

The late Deep Purple organist Jon Lord would have turned 76 years old today (June 9th).


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