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Joe South

Singer/songwriter Joe South (born Joe Souter) began his career as a country musician, performing on an Atlanta radio station and joining Pete Drake's band in 1957. The following year, he recorded a novelty single, "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor," and became a session musician in Nashville and at Muscle Shoals. South appeared on records by Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan (Blonde on Blonde), and Simon & Garfunkel ("The Sounds of Silence"). During the '60s, South began working on his songwriting, crafting hits for Deep Purple ("Hush") and several for Billy Joe Royal, including "Down in the Boondocks." South began recording his own material in 1968, scoring a hit with the Grammy-winning "Games People Play" (Song of the Year) the following year. While South produced hits like "Don't It Make You Want to Go Home" and "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," Lynn Anderson had a smash country and pop hit in 1971 with South's "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden."

South took several years off after his brother's suicide in 1971, moving to Maui and living in the jungles. He had proven a rather prickly character, recording a song entitled "I'm a Star"; he was also busted for drugs and, never entirely comfortable performing, was known for an antagonistic stance in concert (he once suggested that audience members start dancing around the concert hall and kiss his a** as they approached the stage). South briefly returned in 1975 with the Midnight Rainbows LP but retired from recording and performing soon afterwards. South returned in 1994 in a London concert showcasing American Southern performers and later re-entered the music publishing industry. He died from a heart attack at his home in Georgia in September of 2012; Joe South was 72 years old. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I loved Joe as a kid growing up. Mom got me a copy of Introspect for my Birthday a few years ago, and Ironically, he passed on my birthday. An awesome musician.
Joe south walk a mile in my shoes down in the boondocks great songs
I knew Joe South in '68 and '69 in Atlanta. With Billy Joe Royal and the other members of the Atlanta Mafia he was a great guy with a real sense of humor. He will be missed. RIP Joe!!
krmeade1
Rose Garden, 3 thumbs up! Sorry Lynn Anderson just hold a candle to Joe on this one.
tgr32
Met Joe at and Oldsmobile dealership I worked at in Atlanta in '69 where he had purchased a mean 442. Music just as good today as it was then. We miss you Joe.
once owned a copy of Games people play and played it til the record was worn smooth...qui t e a story teller, Joe was.
dsasp
The first song i ever heard was Games people play, and that was all it took for me to like his music! Such truth to the words!!!
"The Games People Play" is a great song with an unforgetable message!
kellied
Oh Joe, you are as current now with the world as you were when you wrote this song!

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