Straining and frantic R&B singers were not too popular on AM radio back in 1963. Louis Jones is so raspy, just listening you'll want to reach for some cough drops. Adding to the growling and howling....some actual bird noises in the mix! Pretty amazing for its time.
The song attempted to cash in on the latest Alfred Hitchcock movie, which had gotten a lot of advance publicity thanks to the master's own choice of slogan, the correctly grammatical (referring to the title of the film) "'The Birds' is Coming." There were no black people in Bodega Bay (location for the movie) and Tippie Hedren is about as white and waspy as a leading actress can get, so it's hard to figure why anyone thought an R&B rave-up would be a tie-in. With it's constant cry of "The Bird is Coming," the few R&B radio stations out there probably didn't play the song, suspicious that it sounded more like a long movie commercial.
Jones' soulful style had zero crossover chances back in 1963, when even raw and raucous James Brown wasn't getting on the same radio stations that favored the smooth pop harmonies of The Four Seasons, who were on the charts with "Walk Like a Man" (Not "Run from The Birds.").
Yes, Top 40 radio aimed at white teens did offer black artists, but they had to be smoothies: Ruby and the Romantics with "Our Day Will Come" or cute girl group The Chiffons (who at the time of this Louis Jones release, were riding high via "He's So Fine," aka "My Sweet Lord"). Teenage ears in 1963 were much more likely to accept "Blue Velvet" from Bobby Vinton and "Surf City" from Jan and Dean. The following year The Beatles discovered that fans preferred a whiter shade of cover version over the then-obscure originals by Little Richard or Chuck Berry.
Now, most everyone's ears are attuned to gospel, Delta blues, rap, righteous R&B, and all ethnic stylings. Well, even so...BE WARNED! You have not heard anything quite like Louis Jones. This ain't no funky chicken. This is serious! Deadly peckers! Cover your heads. Protect your ears....
THE BIRDS IS COMING! LOUIS JONES