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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Rock Hall inductee Johnny Otis dead at 90: "Willie and the Hand Jive"

    Johnny Otis dies at 90; R&B singer wrote 'Willie and the Hand Jive'
    Pioneering rhythm-and-blues singer, songwriter, drummer, bandleader and disc jockey Johnny Otis made the kind of conscious life choice early on that few people have the inclination, or circumstance, to carry out.

    Born white, the son of Greek immigrant parents, and raised in a predominantly black neighborhood in Northern California in the 1920s, Otis decided as a youth that he'd rather be black.

    The choice put him on a path to a life in music during which he created the sensually pulsing 1958 hit "Willie and the Hand Jive." It also gave him a deep connection to black culture that helped him discover such future stars of R&B and rock as Etta James, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard and Little Esther Phillips.

    "Yes, I chose," Otis told The Times in 1979, "because despite all the hardships, there's a wonderful richness in black culture that I prefer."
    much more at L.A. Times link above
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9oo1zVmxDg&feature=related"]Johnny Otis-Hand Jive (High Quality) - YouTube[/ame]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Used to watch his TV show, back in the day.

    His death is a sad thing...his memory lives on, as well as his contributions to r&b which primarily us oldsters would understand.

    RIP Johnny Otis...won't EVER forget you.

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Otis"]Johnny Otis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Johnny's son Shuggie Otis is also a songwriter and performer - his "Strawberry Letter 23" was a hit for the Brothers Johnson in 1977 (Shuggie's own version is also excellent, from his 1971 'Freedom Flight' LP):
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbxUtFDKz8k"]The Brothers Johnson (Strawberry Letter # 23) - YouTube[/ame]

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