"Hush" is a song written by country music artist Joe South for Billy Joe Royal, who had recorded several other songs written and produced by South. South cited the gospel song "Hush, Somebody's Calling My Name" (a minor hit for Bobby Darin in 1960) as an influence in writing Hush.
Particularly notable about this track is the wordless vocal chorus sung between the instrumental passages, which takes its melody from a small part of The Beatles' track "A Day in the Life" from their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Although it was written as a country music song, most recordings have been rock or pop in style.
A common practice at the time was for bands around the world to cover American songs and release them as singles before the originals became widely known in other countries. "Hush" was no exception and cover versions were released in the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy and Denmark.
Kris Ife released the single in the UK (MGM 1369) in 1967.
Russell Morris, an Australian singer-songwriter and his band Somebody's Image (IN S-8116) released the song in november 1967, and reached as high as #2 on the Australian charts. It was produced by Ian Meldrum
Deep Purple recorded a version which appeared on the Shades of Deep Purple album and was their first hit in September 1968, peaking at #4 in the USA and #2 in Canada. They later re-recorded the song in 1988 to celebrate their 20th anniversary, with Ian Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass. A newer Deep Purple version of this song can be found on the 1988 Nobody's Perfect live album released for the 20th anniversary of the band. The single reached #62 on the UK charts. On CD re-issues of Shades of Deep Purple, a live U.S. televised version was included as a bonus track. Other live versions can be found on the live albums Inglewood - Live in California, the only Deep Purple live album with Rod Evans and Nick Simper, and Concerto for Group and Orchestra, with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.
Jeannine de Bellefeuille (as "Jenny Rock"), a Canadian singer, released a French language version of the song, entitled "Mal" (Action AN-7202), in 1969. The French lyrics were written by Georges Aber.
Giuliano Girardi (singer and actor) released another Italian version by was in 1969 (Discophon B-3043).
Joe South himself recorded his own version of the song, released as a single in 1970 and on the Best of Joe South album in 1990.
Blue Swede included "Hush" in a medley in 1975.
Russell Morris re-recorded the song with his band The Rubes in 1980. It reached #14 on the Australian charts.
Swiss hard rock band Gotthard also recorded "Hush" in 1992, probably based on the Deep Purple version.
Dan Baird recorded the song in 1997 with Joe South doing backing vocals.
Kula Shaker, a British psychedelic band released "Hush" as a single in 1997 and it reached #2 on the UK charts.
Chris Von Sneidern performed "Hush" on the Joe South Tribute Record in 2005.
The game Battlefield: Vietnam included "Hush" as part of the in-game soundtrack.
The Xbox 360 version of the game Guitar Hero II features the Deep Purple arrangement as a playable song.
The 2008 television advertisement for the new Jaguar XF features the 'monitor mix' version of Hush, from deep purples 'the early years' album.