Wearing a white suit and a super-fine hat, the much loved and highly under-rated Swamp Dogg has the glamorous image and rich-toned voice of a Soul/Blues Superstar, but his talent for hilarious and cynical lyrics also mark him out as a masterful songwriter. Swamp Dogg is a cult hero to many, but the character is, in fact, the creation of a shrewd, witty industry insider.
Swamp Dogg performs his own fantastically moving song, ‘Sam Stone’ in 2010.
Often cited as the worst album cover ever, Dogg’s next album saw him pictured riding on the back of a giant white rat on ‘Rat On!’ (“Right On!” was the current affirmative phrase). Further albums pursuing Dogg’s concerns of social injustice, vacuous culture and promiscuity, like ‘Cuffed, Collared and Tagged’, ‘Gag a Maggot’ and several more, were issued in the next few years. None of this work made the charts, much less mainstream TV and radio, but Dogg established a loyal cult following for his gigs and occasional recordings. In 1981, Dogg attempted a re-launch into the mainstream with a more Rock’n’Roll album, ‘I’m Not Selling Out, I’m Buying In’, and also a country album which remained un-issued until recently. As Jerry Williams, he continued to do well as a producer and songsmith, but at the turn of the Century, when Kid Rock sampled some of Dogg’s work, the wayward genius was moved to make an intermittent revival.
Taking time out from his other interests, Dogg began to do some gigs and make occasional records. This culminated in his releasing two albums in 2009, and most of his back catalogue has now been digitally re-mastered for the delight of the uninitiated. The old Dogg continues to sniff around, and released an album in 2014 called ‘The White Man Made Me Do It’.