Thursday, January 19, 2012

RIP Johnny Otis (December 28, 1921 - January 17, 2012)

Johnny Otis (Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes) was born in 1921, the son of Greek immigrants. He grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood and absorbed all the richness of the musical culture of the day. He is best remembered for his hit "Willie and the Hand Jive", but his musical prowess extends way beyond one pop hit. Credited with launching LITTLE RICHARD (he fronted his studio band) and Etta James (produced her first hit "Roll With Me, Henry") careers, he brought us the Johnny Otis Show as well as Snatch & the Poontangs! He was an A&R man for King records and discovered seminal acts like Willie Mae Thornton, Jackie Wilson and Hank Ballard. Thank you and RIP Johnny, we salute you!!!

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