Tony Joe White
Tony Joe White
Tony Joe White, aka “The Swamp Fox”, was born in Louisiana on July 23, 1943. His career began with him playing in clubs throughout Texas in the mid-1960s. In 1968, like so many others, he made his way to Nashville, TN. It was shortly after this move that Tony scored his first top 10 hit with ‘Polk Salad Annie’, off the album Black & White. The song was also recorded by Tom Jones and Elvis Presley.
It seems a theme in Tony’s career that other artists have also found success with his compositions. His other big song, ‘Rainy Night in Georgia’, has become a sort of modern standard, having been recorded by the likes of Brook Benton, Ray Charles, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Amos Garrett, Marvin Gaye, B.J. Thomas, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams Jr. and most recently, Aaron Neville. Other notable artists who have performed Tony’s work are Dusty Springfield (‘Willie and Laura Mae Jones’), Tina Turner (four tracks on Foreign Affair), Kenny Chesney (‘Steamy Windows’), Joe Cocker, Rory Gallagher (‘As The Crow Flies’), Great White (‘If I Ever Saw A Good Thing’), Buddy Guy (‘Did Somebody Make A Fool Out Of You’), Emmylou Harris (‘High Powered Love’), Isaac Hayes (‘That Loving Feeling’), Etta James (‘Out Of The Rain’), Waylon Jennings, and B.B. King (‘Makin’ Love Is Good For You’), among many others.
Between 1969 and 2007, Tony has released 25 records, and he continues to tour around the world. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s White toured in support of artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival and James Taylor. In 1991, following the release of his album Closer To The Truth, Tony embarked on a two year touring schedule, including supporting dates for Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker. Tremendously popular in Europe since his performance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, Tony was made the subject of a French made documentary, Tony Joe White — The Man From Down South.
In 2006, Tony released the album Uncovered. Speaking about his collaboration with Mark Knopfler on this album, White recalls a night when “I built a big fire outside. [Mark and I] had steaks and cold beer, and we took the guitars out by the fire, and I wish it had been recorded.” What they recorded instead was ‘Not One Bad Thought’.