In 1974, Otis released Inspiration Information, his third and final album for Epic Records. With a keen ear for talent, he helped steer a long list of performers to stardom, among them Etta James, Jackie Wilson, Esther Phillips and Big Mama Thornton — whose hit recording of “Hound Dog,” made in 1952, four years before Elvis Presley’s, was produced by Mr. Otis and featured him on drums. Otis began playing guitar when he was two years old and performing professionally with his father's band at the age of eleven,[4] often disguising himself with dark glasses and a false mustache so that he could play with his father's band in after-hours nightclubs. He began performing at age 12, playing guitar and bass, and soon became a hit on the West Coast blues circuit. Johnny Shuggie Otis (born Johnny Alexander Veliotes, Jr.; November 30, 1953)[2][3] is an American singer-songwriter, recording artist, and multi-instrumentalist. He returned in 1982 with an album, "The New Johnny Otis Show (with Shuggie Otis)", and continued to work as a session musician and songwriter. Around this time Mr. Otis became a D.J. “Psychologically, environmentally, culturally, by choice, I’m a member of the black community.”. on the Los Angeles-area radio station KFOX. While he never stopped making music as long as his health allowed, Mr. Otis focused much of his attention in the 1960s on politics and the civil rights movement. Johnny Otis, the musician, bandleader, songwriter, impresario, disc jockey and talent scout who was often called “the godfather of rhythm and blues,” died on Tuesday at his home in Altadena, Calif. While he acknowledged that some people attended just “to see what Reverend Hand Jive was talking about,” he took his position seriously and in his decade as pastor was involved in charitable work including feeding the homeless. As big bands fell out of fashion, Mr. Otis stripped the ensemble down to just a few horns and a rhythm section and stepped to the forefront of the emerging rhythm and blues scene. What people wanted to call his music, he said, was of no concern to him. - Otis and Sony Music Entertainment made a deal for a double CD which was released on April 20, 2013. The name "Shuggie" (short for "sugar," according to his mother) was coined by Phyllis when he was a newborn. Mr. Otis began his career as a drummer in 1939. It will be available on Shugiterius records (Otis's company) and Sony records, through Sony Music Entertainment. After the album's release, Otis was approached by Billy Preston on behalf of The Rolling Stones, asking him to join the band for their upcoming world tour. He was soon making solo albums ("Here Comes Shuggie Otis", for Columbia) and worked with such musical legends as Al Kooper and Frank Zappa. 1 for nine weeks. Immediately returning to Los Angeles, Otis, along with his father and singer Delmar "Mighty Mouth" Evans, performed on the album Cold Shot (by the elder Otis), released in 1969 on the Los Angeles-based Kent label. This CD re-issue includes all nine original album tracks plus four songs taken from Otis' 1971 album Freedom Flight, and features new cover art, liner notes, and exclusive never-seen-before photos. |  Johnny Shuggie Otis (born Johnny Alexander Veliotes, Jr.; November 30, 1953) is an American singer-songwriter, recording artist, and multi-instrumentalist. A new, mostly instrumental, album was released in April 2018 titled Inter-Fusion. Due in part to this regained interest, the album was re-released on April 3, 2001, by David Byrne's independent label Luaka Bop Records. He was immersed in African-American culture from an early age and said he considered himself “black by persuasion.”, “Genetically, I’m pure Greek,” he told The San Jose Mercury News in 1994. Two grandsons, Lucky and Eric Otis, also played guitar with him. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the California State Assembly and served on the staff of Mervyn M. Dymally, a Democratic assemblyman who later became a United States representative and California’s first black lieutenant governor. [3] He also achieved commercial success with his 1974 single "Inspiration Information" (from the album of the same title), reaching #56 on the R&B chart.[3]. Kooper and the then-fifteen-year-old Otis recorded the whole album over one weekend in New York. He grew up in a predominantly black area of Berkeley. At Mr. Otis’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Ms. James referred to him as her “guru.” (He received similar honors from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the Blues Foundation.). Another obscure album this three-man team recorded was the extremely rare and risque Snatch & The Poontangs, on which Otis recorded tracks under the pseudonym "Prince Wunnerful". In the mid-1970s Mr. Otis branched out further when he was ordained as a minister and opened the nondenominational Landmark Community Church in Los Angeles. Mr. Otis was also a political activist, a preacher, an artist, an author and even, late in life, an organic farmer. Hundreds of Mr. Otis’s radio and television shows are archived at Indiana University. As a bandleader and occasional vocalist, he had a string of rhythm and blues hits in the early 1950s and a Top 10 pop hit in 1958 with his composition “Willie and the Hand Jive,” later covered by Eric Clapton and others. He declined the offer, along with the chance to work with Quincy Jones in helping produce Otis's next album. His many other compositions included “Every Beat of My Heart,” a Top 10 hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips in 1961. In 1969, Al Kooper asked Otis to be the featured guest on the second installment (Kooper Session) of the Super Session album series that had previously included Stephen Stills and Mike Bloomfield. All the songs were written and arranged by Otis himself, who played every musical instrument on the album, except for horns and some strings. Born in Los Angeles, California, Otis is the son of rhythm and blues pioneer, musician, bandleader, and impresario Johnny Otis, who was of Greek descent, and his wife Phyllis Walker, who was of African American and Filipino descent. The album had taken almost three years to finish. Otis then released his first solo album later that year entitled Here Comes Shuggie Otis on Epic Records. Long after he was a force on the rhythm and blues charts, Mr. Otis was a familiar presence at blues and even jazz festivals. Otis's composition "Strawberry Letter 23" (as recorded by The Brothers Johnson) topped the Billboard R&B chart and reached #5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977., Other Works But it was in music that he left his most lasting mark. |  Shuggie Otis was born John Otis Jr.--his father was R&B icon Johnny Otis--in 1953 in Los Angeles, CA. His death was confirmed by his manager, Terry Gould. [citation needed] It was lauded by such musicians as Prince and Lenny Kravitz. From 1950 to 1952 Mr. Otis had 15 singles on Billboard’s rhythm and blues Top 40, including “Double Crossing Blues,” which was No. Johnny Otis at the Chicago Blues Festival in 1993. Both the album and single reached the Billboard Top 200 and the Billboard Hot 100, respectively and caught the attention of Brothers Johnson guitarist George Johnson, who then played it for producer Quincy Jones. Inspiration Information gained a huge cult following during the 1990s with the emergence of rare groove and acid jazz. On the strength of that success he crisscrossed the country with his California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, featuring singers like Ms. Phillips, billed as Little Esther — whom he had discovered at a talent contest at his nightclub — and Hank Ballard, who a decade later would record the original version of “The Twist,” the song that ushered in a national dance craze. Otis is featured in every one of his father Johnny's books, as well as Alligator Records Presents West Coast Blues, issued in August 1998. Otis had a son named Johnny III, known as Lucky Otis, with his first wife Miss Mercy of The GTOs, an all-girl group produced by Frank Zappa. It is a re-release of Inspiration/Information. In addition to his sons, he is survived by his wife of 70 years, the former Phyllis Walker; two daughters, Janice Johnson and Laura Johnson; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild. Added to the album are several bonus tracks, including an accompanying album entitled Wings of Love. Leading a band in the late 1940s that combined the high musical standards of big band jazz with the raw urgency of gospel music and the blues, Mr. Otis played an important role in creating a new sound for a new audience of young urban blacks. Mr. Otis’s first book, “Listen to the Lambs” (1968), was largely a reflection on the political and social significance of the 1965 Watts riots. Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Shuggie Otis - Discography (Compilations)", "California Birth Index, 1905–1995 [database on-line]", "The Thermals: Desperate Ground Album Review | Pitchfork", "Shuggie Otis: Live at The Highline Ballroom, 1/10/2013", "REVIEW: Shuggie Otis Revels In His Second Chance", Shuggie Otis Interview for Echoes Magazine 2012,, American rhythm and blues bass guitarists, American rhythm and blues singer-songwriters, BLP articles lacking sources from May 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2012, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, piano, organ, "Aht Uh mi Hed" sampled by Kapu (Venezuelan producer) for the track ", This page was last edited on 28 September 2020, at 01:40. In 1945 he formed a 16-piece band and recorded his first hit, “Harlem Nocturne.”. - IMDb Mini Biography By: King, who was quoted in a 1970 issue of Guitar Player magazine saying Otis was his "favorite new guitarist". While growing up with and being heavily influenced by many blues, jazz and R&B musicians in his father Johnny's immediate circle, Otis began to gravitate towards the popular music of his generation such as Jimi Hendrix, Arthur Lee (of the band Love), and Sly Stone.

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