The late 60s and early 70s were the hallowed bastion of the story song. Tales such as Ode to Billy Joe, Little Green Apples and Wildfire touched many a poetic heart. But, perhaps, none were as spooky and sensually kinky as Vicki Lawrence’s take on Bobby Russell’s The Night That The Lights Went Out in Georgia. This oddly perverted tale of a vengeful sister who murders her brother’s wife and the man she was cheating on him with (now that’s familial loyalty!) was made even more popular in the 90s with Reba McEntire’s take. (In fact, McEntire’s version was released exactly 20 years after Lawrence’s.) But there is no comparison to the dark vibes that producer Snuff Garrett supplied for Lawrence’s original attack.
A movie based on the song (with Tanya Tucker doing a growly take on the number), featuring Kristy McNichol, was also released in the early 80s. But those sexy video thrillers starring such celluloid icons as Tracy Scoggins, Shannon Tweed and Shannon Whirry have more in common with the seemingly innocent yet sultry mood provided Lawrence than that attempt to cash in on McNichol’s short lived singing career.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!