IAGO: It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.
Take my soul, I began to not much more than a gleam in the eye of the aptly-named Jack Good, actor, producer, DIARY-KEEPER, agent, and most of all, rock-n-roll impresario. It was good man, after Shindig!, The first – and best – from the rock-n-roll, variety shows. Although the Shindig! not last much past a year, ultimately come down in the ratings war with the Beverly Hillbillies and put back in the ABC lineup in the SCOUT 19 and 66, had an influence beyond his life. Among the many artists, Shindig! brought Howlin ‘Wolf and the Chambers Brothers to television first, and Sonny and Cher popularized in America, the U.S. audience who thought they were a cool two Britons.Sonny and Cher when they first started out they had trouble getting gigs, club owners, thinking they were just too ridiculous. But Jack was caught by a good act, he loved them, and told Sonny and Cher “you have to to England.” The two sold admitted that finance all the way, that is the right move, “to make England swingin ‘like a pendulum immediately took to the Sonny and Cher, with even the old men are chasing them for the originall instrument. By the time the two got to the States were a huge hit, and everyone thought the Italian-American-Iranian Sonny and Cher were no English. [Shindig! – Sonny & Cher]
Othello: Excellent wretch, perdition catch my soul, / But I love you! I am in love with you / again, chaos. Jack wanted to produce a good rock-n-roll version of Othello when he was undergrad at Oxford in the fifties. In the 19 and 58, Good spotted Jerry Lee Lewis became upset by the time I’m always stalking her and knew James was found. But it would be almost another decade before the head was in the production of my soul. By 1965 it is bored with the Shindig! and looking for new worlds to conquer. He recruited Ray Pohlman, a writer of Shindig! music director, to start writing the score for Catch My Soul. With 19 songs in the can, a good beginning to his casting in the Ensemble in the late `66, marking his Jerry Lee Lewis in the role of James in August. Jerry Lee and Jack already knew everyone from Jerry’s Shindig! services, and what Jerry would consider making a rockin ‘version of Shakespeare is not a mystery. Peaks and valleys in the music career, Jerry Lee Lewis is seeing in the valley so low in the Sixties, he left the label in the 19 and 63, and not to score a hit with that with his new label, Mercury. Jerry Lee was notified that the contracts of 68 for the mercury and in the `not to be renewed, and the murderer was in the tribulation. More than to ‘chase my life long unto the soul withdrew from the pain turned to the period of time only rendering. In Shakespeare’s James Jerry Lee found a kindred spirit, someone with that as the blood in his eye and hell in his soul to Jerry Lee Lewis himself.
Two years, and was defeated and sent to the theater changes before Catch my soul to be made before the hearing. In the meantime, the neighborhood changed from New to LA and changed hands, out of the Othello–linebacker Rosey Grier to the more experienced actor, Peter Brock. In that way, the mind boggles at the idea of Rosey, whose acting career was HOT to co-star in the two chapters – as Othello.
[The two chapters Trailer]
What’s Catch My Soul finally began in January 22 19 and 68, and so cuts Mr. D. Time Radio Hour played on life, lust of blood in the blood of the show and a drink in the episode in the war, are the RECORD sessions.
The first narrative, Jerry Lee surprised the rest is sent to only those who have already memorized all the lines. “This Shakespeare was really somethin ‘,“ I say to the reporter, wondering aloud what the Willy thought he could shake the killer‘s music.
If the critics ‘response to Lewis‘ performance was an indication, a poet, Avalon is probably just dug out of Memphis. According to Nick Tosches book hell, Jerry Lee stole the show on opening night and every night thereafter, wowing reviewers ranging from the Christian Science Monitor (“the Lousiana–born genius“) here in the Daily Star (“truly diabolical as James“). After that first show, sixties luminaries including Burt Bacharach, Andy Williams, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Tom Jones all lined up in front of Jerry Lee‘s dressing room, as it tries to congratulate the killer.
James, wine, ho!
And I was in a canakin SING, SING;
I and the RING canakin
A soldier’s a man;
A life’s but a span;
What if a military draft.
Cassius: Fore God, my soul song.Catch best game in a short but successful three month run, he locked in the April 13, 19 and 68, and reportedly pulling in more than half–million dollars. Jerry Lee would head back to Memphis and record what Milwaukee Famous (made by the vanquished of me), who singlehandedly revitalize one of Lewis‘ career. Made Milwaukee Famous, which broke in the country charts in June and finally hit the # 2 slot, selling more than 170,000 copies by the end of the summer of `68. The rest is history.
Take my life less of a successful future, though one almost as strange as Jerry Lee‘s. This story is finally adapted to and is directed by McGoohan, Secret Agent Man and of the bound report. As a piece of Diana, for this to be a musical adaptation of Othello, with McGoohan seconds. Back in 1961, McGoohan had performed in the film nights, a Gothic version of the story, which included appearances by Dave Brubeck and Charlie Ming.
Catch My Soul had less of a successful future, albeit nearly one as strange as Jerry Lee’s. The play was eventually adapted to film and directed by Patrick McGoohan, he of Secret Agent Man and The Prisoner fame. As a piece of trivia, this would be McGoohan’s second involvement with a musical adaptation of Othello. Back in 1961, McGoohan performed in the film All Night Long, a jazz version of the play that included appearances by Dave Brubeck and Charlie Mingus.
Released in 19 and 74, Catch My Soul the movie starred Richie Havens as Othello, Season Hubley as Desdemona, and journeyman actor Lance LeGault taking over the role of Iago.
Except for being produced by Jack Good and retaining a bit of Shakespeare’s original language, the movie had little resemblance to the play, or even to reality. Influenced heavily by the hit rock operas Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell!, Catch My Soul the movie was set in the American Southwest. Othello became a itinerant evangelist who wandered into Iago’s remote commune. Othello falls in love with beautiful Desdemona, infuriating Iago, who also loves her. Iago plots his revenge and murder and tragedy predictably ensue. In between the bouts of murder, madness and blood there are songs, some performed by Richie Havens, some by Tony Joe White, others by Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, two singers who had something of side-career with showing up in weird movies of the `60s and `70s. None of the music from Catch My Soul the play made the transition to the movie, which was described by one reviewer as a “train wreck.”
Dreamtime received over a half-dozen emails asking about Catch My Soul, some from TTRH fans wanting to know why Jerry Lee Lewis was singing Shakespeare – which I hoped I’ve answered – and several from fans who already knew the story of Catch My Soul, but were interested in where Mr. D. had found the songs.
Both cuts are from The Killer’s Private Stash, a semi-bootleg out of Holland that also includes Lewis’ first known recording and an X-rated version of Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. As far as I can determine, those two songs from the Catch My Soul rehearsal sessions are the only known circulating tracks in existence. But given their quality, maybe somewhere, maybe hidden away in some box or basement shelf, there’s more in the Killer’s Private Stash, maybe there’s a complete recording of Jerry Lee Lewis as Iago in Catch My Soul… and maybe someday we’ll get to hear it.
We can only hope.
The primary source for this article was Nick Tosches’ Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story. But as is usual with anything Tosches’ has written, anything he claims are specific names, dates, or places should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Tosches is a great writer but sloppy researcher. It’s Rosey, Nick, not “Rosie.”
THE JERRY LEE LEWIS I’VE KNOWN FOR 46 YEARS by Graham Knight also had some useful information.
Most of the background information on Jack Good came from Steve Walker’s article.
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