Joe South developed a passion for music at a young age, and he created his own pirate radio station as a child. By his late teens he had honed his talents as both a songwriter and a guitarist. His first single, The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor in 1958, became a minor hit, reaching number 47 in the USA. He had another minor hit in 1961, before he first achieved success as a songwriter the following year, with Unite Me by The Tams. Billy Joe Royal also released several South-penned singles. South worked as a session guitarist throughout the early and mid-60s, backing top artists such as Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Marty Robbins, Wilson Pickett and Simon And Garfunkel. He returned to his own singing career in the late 60s, with his biggest hit, Games People Play, reaching number 12 in 1969. However, a lack of both stage presence and desire for fame prevented his own career from ever really taking off, although his stature as a songwriter has never been in doubt, with many well known acts having enjoyed success performing his songs. These include Deep Purple, Kula Shaker, Elvis Presley, Lynn Anderson, Paul Reeve And The Raiders and The Osmonds. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 1979.
Influenced By: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Van Morrison, Carl Perkins
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