First Hit #1: October 20, 1962
Initially, when I heard this song, I thought “Huh, this isn’t as bad as I remember”. Note, this impression lasted for all of five seconds, because then the vocal started.
I get it, Mr. Pickett, you can do a Boris Karloff impression. That’s very nice for you, but it can’t sustain an entire song. It can’t even sustain a full line of a song, and the strained attempts to continue the tortured graveyard references just gets weak. Which might not be so bad, if the song was sung by a peppy vocal group or something, someone who could inject the experience with a bit of energy and fun. But no, we get a Karloff impression that has already worn out its welcome, and sets about draining all life from the song. In the end, we have a malformed monster, but instead of doing any kind of dance, it just limps away before collapsing under its own weight.
As regular readers might have predicted, my mother, of course, loves this song.