Album: Shades Of Deep Purple (1968)
Charted: 62 4
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  • This was written by Joe South and first recorded by the country singer Billy Joe Royal in 1967. Joe South was a prominent session musician and songwriter; some of his other compositions include "Games People Play" and "Rose Garden." South also wrote "Down in the Boondocks" for Royal, which was a #9 US hit in 1965.
  • After Royal released his version, "Hush" was quickly recorded by many artists in a variety of styles. The song is about a guy who is so crazy in love that he'll drop everything if he thinks she might be calling his name. Royal's recording has a definite country feel, while Deep Purple used a heavy rock sound.

    Other artists to record the song include Jimmy Frey, The Rubes, Killdozer, Dan Baird, Gotthard and Thin Lizzy. Kula Shaker had the biggest UK hit with their cover going to #2 in 1997.
  • Joe South adapted the song from an old African American spiritual, which included the line: "Hush I thought I heard Jesus calling my name."
  • It was a cohort of producer Joe Meek, Rod Freeman, who taught Deep Purple this song. Keyboardist Jon Lord recalled to Mojo magazine January 2009: "Initially we thought it's a bit too disco, or whatever the word was then. But Ritchie (Blackmore) said it would work if we toughened it up a bit."
  • This song has been in the following films: Apollo 11 (1996), Isn't She Great (2000), Beyond the Sea (2004), Children of Men (2006). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dale - Santa Fe, NM
  • The UK Charlatans lifted the organ riff on their 1990 UK hit "The Only One I Know" from this song.
  • This was not a hit in Deep Purple's native UK, though a re-recording made to celebrate their 20th anniversary reached a measly #62 in 1988.
  • In 1997 British band Kula Shaker's cover of this song peaked at #2 in the UK, bettering Deep Purple's chart position by 60 places. Kula Shaker's version featured in the 1997 film I Know What You Did Last Summer.
  • Jon Lord (from Mojo magazine): "The whacka thing on the organ was something I started doing in (his previous band) The Artwoods. I played it almost like a set of conga drums. The rhythm of Hush is like a samba."
  • The Deep Purple version was included on their first album and recorded with the band's original lineup, which didn't include lead singer Ian Gillan, who joined in 1969, replacing Rod Evans. The song is a fan favorite, but Gillan kept it off the setlists when he was in the band, since he wasn't the original singer.

    When Steve Morse joined Deep Purple on guitar in 1994, he pushed to bring the song back to their live shows, which they did. "We have a big improv section in there and it's just a great feel from beginning to end for me," Morse said in our 2014 interview. "And the lyrics are not even lyrics. It's just 'Na nana na na na nananana.' It's the most basic tune in the world, but to me Deep Purple got on the map as a hard rock band from doing that version of 'Hush.' So I love that. And we stretch that out pretty far live."
  • In the US, this was released on Tetragrammaton Records, which was co-owned by Bill Cosby.

Comments: 21

  • Bpm from North CarolinaI saw Deep Purple perform this at the Fillmore East in NYC when it first hit the charts..probably 1968. Sounded great live, a memorable time.
  • Ron from OmahaWhy isn't Billy Jo Royal's version ever played on any oldies station including Sirius satellite radio? Did Deep Purple have something to do with this?
  • Don from Pearland, Texas South wrote the song but I’m thinking he had to have nipped the Na Na Na melody from A day in the Life.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 16, 1975, Blue Swede's covered version of "Hush/I'm Alive" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; it would peak at #61 and it spent 5 weeks on the chart...
    The Swedish group had three other Top 100 records; "Hooked On A Feeling" {#1 for 1 week}, "Silly Milly" {#71}, and "Never My Love" {#7}, and all three records charted in the year of 1974.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 7th 1975, Deep Purple appeared in concert at the Palais des Sports in Paris, France; after the concert Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple and later in 1975 formed the group Rainbow...
    Between 1968 and 1974 the British quintet had seven Top 100 records; two made the Top 10 and both peaked at #4, "Hush" in 1968 and "Smoke On the Water" in 1973...
    In their native United Kingdom they had sixteen records make the UK Singles chart, their biggest hit was "Black Night", it peaked at #2* {for 2 weeks} in 1970...
    * The two weeks that "Black Night" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Band of Gold" by Freda Payne.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 28th 1967, Billy Joe Royal performed "Hush!" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #52 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and that would be its peak position on the chart, it spent 3 weeks at #52 and a grand total of 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between July 1965 and June 1978 he had nine Top 100 records; his biggest hit was "Down in the Boondocks", it peaked at #9 in 1965...
    Seven years after his last Top 100 record he entered Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart with "Burned Like A Rock", it peaked at #10...
    He had 14 records make the Hot Country Singles chart, with two of them reaching #2, "Tell It Like It Is" and "Till I Can't Take It Anymore", both in 1989...
    And in a duet with Donna Fargo, he reached #23 with "Member Only" in 1987...
    Mr. Royal will celebrate his 73rd birthday come next April 3rd {2015}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 11th 1968, "Hush" by Deep Purple entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on September 15th, 1963 it peaked at #4 {for 2 weeks} and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...One year earlier in 1967 Billy Joe Royal's original recording of the song reached #52 on the Top 100...In 1975 Blue Swede released "Hush/I'm Alive"; it reached #61 on the Top 100...Deep Purple had one other Top 10 record, "Smoke on the Water", and it also peaked at #4 on the Top 100.
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrDoes anyone remember them doing this whith Rod on " The Dating Game " in 1969 ???
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrLords ' " Samba Beat " was copied by Manzerak on "Touch Me Babe " ...
  • Dane from Green Cove Springs Fla., FlThis version crushes the original.Awesome groove.Killer organ/drums/guitar.One of the best cover songs ever.
  • Jeff from Concord, CaTotally agree with Larry's comment. The na-na-na-na parts don't just sound like Day In The Life, it's the exact same melody and chord structure. The tempo is just a little quicker. Not sure about Paul's comment about closing your eyes and riding a London double-decker or whatever the hell.
  • Paul from Croydon, PaPS - Oh, Larry - you're absolutely right! If you close your eyes at the "Na Na" part and you don't picture for a second or two, John Lennon and Paul McCartney smokin' a number upstairs (the top level of the London double-deckers) on the way to work, I feel bad for you, too! Right on, man!
  • Paul from Croydon, PaAlthough the song as a whole totally ROCKS, my favorite part is the very beginning. With the coyote howls in the backround, coupled with the raw Blackmore power chords and Glover bass treatment, it lends itself to such a pure primal, urgent, "lusting for life itself feeling" that you get in so very, very few love songs that have EVER been done...

    While Joe South may have penned the tune (thanx Joe for that), Purple's version carries it to a whole new level where very few soar to. Simply incredible. Na, Nana na... Peace.
  • Larry from Wayne, PaHas anyone else noticed that the "na nana na" parts sound a lot like The Beatles' "A Day in the Life"?
  • Chloe from St. Louis, MoI heard a cover of this by some pyschadelic band called love affair on, and it was driving me insane that I couldn't find it anywhere. I felt a little stupid when I realized it was just a cover...
  • Johnnys Cousin Steve from Villas, NjI do an acoustic (Deep Purple)version of at my gigs - always a crowd-pleaser. Never knew is was a remake til now...Songfacts Rocks!
  • Scared_of_girls from Melbourne, AustraliaBeen trying to play this on guitar. Sounds good with the Leslie rotary-speaker emulater on my Line 6 Pod. Love the Kula Shaker version!
  • Musicmama from New York, NyGreat song. It was also covered by Merillee Rush and the Turnabouts (best-known for "Angel of the Morning"). They changed all the female nouns and pronouns to male ones. And the arrangement has touches of folk and even countryish music that Deep Purple's version doesn't have.

    I like both versions.
  • Austin from Boston, MaIt's a great song and it's not played often which makes it better when you hear it.
  • Andy from Halesowen, West Midlands, United KingdomNice catchy rock tune, nothing complicated, good clear vocals, still sounds fairly fresh.
    Really like the haunting "na na nan na...." bit. Liked the Kula Shaker version too.
  • Mark from London, EnglandThe song currently soundtracks a Jaguar advertisement in the UK.
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