Sunday Night Sound Bite: "Fever" Through the Ages


Exploring the evolution of a song can be fascinating, especially when it's one as irresistible as 1956's "Fever." Written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell (under the alias John Davenport), the sultry classic is undoubtedly "owned" by Peggy Lee (1920-2002) but was first recorded by Little Willie John (1937-1968) and has been covered by the likes of Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Nancy Sinatra, Boney M., The Jam, The Cramps, Wanda Jackson, Bette Midler, Michael Bublé and Amanda Lear. Below, a sampling of "Fever" through the ages, starting with the original and progressing through Lee's iconic version, Madonna's Erotica-era reboot and potty-mouthed drag queen Jackie Beat's sex-change satire "Beaver."

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