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I Idolize You

This is the runner-up in my Ike and Tina Songs That Remind Me of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Sweepstakes.

“I Idolize You” was released in 1960–the third single that they put out. “Letter from Tina” was the B-side. It’s a real smooth rhythm and blues number. If they were playing this in the clubs in St. Louis, I can imagine the crowd doing some slow-and-close dancing to this one.

To me, Tina sounds like some slightly deranged (but no doubt attractive) stalker lurking behind the Spanish moss.

Oh what a thrill, yeah / You know I would get / If I could comfort you baby / And make you my pet /OH! /ALL I WANT BABY / Is SOME THOUGHTS of you / JUST A LITTLE BIT ATTENTION /You know it sees me through / ‘CAUSE YOU KNOW you’re my KIND / And I WANT you to be mine / WHOA! / I idolize you /Yes I idolize you

When I listen to this song, I don’t believe she’s meaning “idolize” like to adore this guy passionately, or even to worship him like a demigod. Instead, I feel like she’s using the word in a new way–that she means she’s going to make a voodoo-type idol of this man, to entrap him. Idol-ize him.

Even if your imagination isn’t that active, this song is fine. It’s wonderful early Ike and Tina: Ike’s conception of his lead singer as some kind of wild, sultry jungle woman is starting to show, and Tina sounds awesome.

I would like to scream to you baby / Just to let you know. . .

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