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Johnny Otis

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NEWS
August 23, 1992 | FRANKI V. RANSOM
Johnny Otis, the rhythm and blues singer famous for the hit single "Willie and the Hand Jive," will, of course, be the featured performer today during the second annual Johnny Otis Red Beans and Rice Family Music Festival in San Dimas. Otis, born in Vallejo in 1921, started singing boogie-woogie and barrelhouse blues as a teen-ager.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Below are a few choice Spring releases that have been getting high-volume rotation on the stereo of one particular Volvo rolling the streets of Los Angeles. Bleached, "Ride Your Heart" (Dead Oceans) The two sisters who co-founded Bleached first earned ears in Mika Miko, the incendiary punk band whose sweaty nights at the downtown L.A. club the Smell in the mid-00s helped solidify a small movement. As Bleached, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin have calmed a bit and have a new appreciation for texture, harmony and restraint.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 1989 | LEONARD FEATHER
Johnny Otis, who opened Wednesday at the Vine Street Bar and Grill in Hollywood, has had more careers than most cats have lives: Drummer, pianist, vibraphonist, composer, music publisher, record producer, singer, journalist, disc jockey, author, but mainly talent scout and catalyst in the rhythm and blues world. The group he is now fronting constitutes a virtual retrospective of his musical career, with a cast that includes three brass, three saxes, a rhythm section and three vocalists.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Sometimes things fall apart. It's an unfortunate part of the deal. Just because music happens doesn't always mean it happens right, on schedule or as planned. Feedback happens. Budding genius is quashed by forces outside of one's control. Unfortunately, Shuggie Otis at the Echoplex on Wednesday never really got going. Even if the efforts were often valiant, a bum amp and an uncertain performance hobbled the underground soul legend's return. The hurdles proved so obstructive that at one point he stopped playing a song midway through as the band was trying to build momentum and said, "If this show don't start now I'm outta here.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1986 | RICK VANDERKNYFF
At 64, Johnny Otis is getting a second chance to do the thing he loves best: make music. Just a few years ago, the creator of such jazz and rhythm-and-blues hits as 1946's "Harlem Nocturne" and 1958's "Willie and the Hand Jive" found himself in involuntary retirement. Interest in R&B was on the wane and concert dates were scarce. "We had no audience at all for more than 10 years," Otis said earlier this week in an interview at his Altadena home.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 1990 | JIM WASHBURN
If a fountain of youth is ever discovered, it may have musical notes rather than water pouring from it. Performing at Newport's Cafe Lido on Sunday, 68-year-old R&B bandleader Johnny Otis radiated the same youthful sparkle that stayed with Duke Ellington and so many other musicians through all their years. When Otis launched into his trademark "Willie and the Hand Jive" late in his first set, it was with all the enthusiasm that had made his original 1958 recording so irresistible.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 1990 | RICK VANDERKNYFF, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Johnny Otis calls it "interim therapy." When he isn't on the road with his rhythm-and-blues revue, he busies himself with projects: growing vegetables, tending his menagerie--parrots, pigeons, ducks and bantam chickens--and working on his art. Half of the sunlit studio in his sprawling home is filled with paintings, mostly stylized remembrances of jazz and R&B shows that Otis, 68, has seen or played.
BOOKS
April 13, 1986
Thanks, Johnny Otis, for your strong and clear defense (The Book Review, March 16) of the great black American artists who've created our only unique national contribution to world culture. Thanks for exposing the insulting claim-jumpers who try to steal honor and credit from our black genius-originators of blues, jazz, gospel, rhythm-and-blues and rock . . . which would not exist without those black Americans whose souls were strong enough to make music in the face of poverty and hatred.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Below are a few choice Spring releases that have been getting high-volume rotation on the stereo of one particular Volvo rolling the streets of Los Angeles. Bleached, "Ride Your Heart" (Dead Oceans) The two sisters who co-founded Bleached first earned ears in Mika Miko, the incendiary punk band whose sweaty nights at the downtown L.A. club the Smell in the mid-00s helped solidify a small movement. As Bleached, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin have calmed a bit and have a new appreciation for texture, harmony and restraint.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 1986 | DON SNOWDEN
"The Barrelhouse used to be right down there on the northeast corner of Wilmington," Johnny Otis said Saturday afternoon, referring to the nightclub--a block east of the Watts Towers--that he ran in the late '40s. The veteran bandleader was back on his old stomping grounds to stage the "R&B Reunion," which closed the first half of the two-day, 10th annual Watts Towers Music and Arts Festival.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 | Randy Lewis
One common thread running through reflections of more than a dozen speakers at Saturday's memorial service in Hollywood for Johnny Otis was that the influential R&B musician, band leader, producer and disc jockey didn't make friends so much as continually expand his extended family. "My whole life with this family and with Johnny was 'Wow!' " singer Barbara Morrison, who toured for 25 years with the Johnny Otis Show traveling revue, said from her wheelchair a few feet away from Otis' wife of more than 70 years, Phyllis.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 2001 | RICHARD CROMELIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Shuggie Otis has frequently been likened to Sly Stone musically, but Otis on Thursday revealed another, less admirable similarity to the leader of Sly & the Family Stone, who made an art of the no-show. With the pieces in place for an escalation of his unlikely career revival, Otis, 47, nearly sabotaged this closely watched event, arriving at the El Rey Theatre just minutes before his scheduled 10 p.m.
NEWS
August 23, 1992 | FRANKI V. RANSOM
Johnny Otis, the rhythm and blues singer famous for the hit single "Willie and the Hand Jive," will, of course, be the featured performer today during the second annual Johnny Otis Red Beans and Rice Family Music Festival in San Dimas. Otis, born in Vallejo in 1921, started singing boogie-woogie and barrelhouse blues as a teen-ager.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 1990 | JIM WASHBURN
If a fountain of youth is ever discovered, it may have musical notes rather than water pouring from it. Performing at Newport's Cafe Lido on Sunday, 68-year-old R&B bandleader Johnny Otis radiated the same youthful sparkle that stayed with Duke Ellington and so many other musicians through all their years. When Otis launched into his trademark "Willie and the Hand Jive" late in his first set, it was with all the enthusiasm that had made his original 1958 recording so irresistible.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 1990 | RICK VANDERKNYFF, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Johnny Otis calls it "interim therapy." When he isn't on the road with his rhythm-and-blues revue, he busies himself with projects: growing vegetables, tending his menagerie--parrots, pigeons, ducks and bantam chickens--and working on his art. Half of the sunlit studio in his sprawling home is filled with paintings, mostly stylized remembrances of jazz and R&B shows that Otis, 68, has seen or played.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 1989 | LEONARD FEATHER
Johnny Otis, who opened Wednesday at the Vine Street Bar and Grill in Hollywood, has had more careers than most cats have lives: Drummer, pianist, vibraphonist, composer, music publisher, record producer, singer, journalist, disc jockey, author, but mainly talent scout and catalyst in the rhythm and blues world. The group he is now fronting constitutes a virtual retrospective of his musical career, with a cast that includes three brass, three saxes, a rhythm section and three vocalists.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Sometimes things fall apart. It's an unfortunate part of the deal. Just because music happens doesn't always mean it happens right, on schedule or as planned. Feedback happens. Budding genius is quashed by forces outside of one's control. Unfortunately, Shuggie Otis at the Echoplex on Wednesday never really got going. Even if the efforts were often valiant, a bum amp and an uncertain performance hobbled the underground soul legend's return. The hurdles proved so obstructive that at one point he stopped playing a song midway through as the band was trying to build momentum and said, "If this show don't start now I'm outta here.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 2001 | RICHARD CROMELIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Shuggie Otis has frequently been likened to Sly Stone musically, but Otis on Thursday revealed another, less admirable similarity to the leader of Sly & the Family Stone, who made an art of the no-show. With the pieces in place for an escalation of his unlikely career revival, Otis, 47, nearly sabotaged this closely watched event, arriving at the El Rey Theatre just minutes before his scheduled 10 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 28, 1986 | DON SNOWDEN
"The Barrelhouse used to be right down there on the northeast corner of Wilmington," Johnny Otis said Saturday afternoon, referring to the nightclub--a block east of the Watts Towers--that he ran in the late '40s. The veteran bandleader was back on his old stomping grounds to stage the "R&B Reunion," which closed the first half of the two-day, 10th annual Watts Towers Music and Arts Festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1986 | RICK VANDERKNYFF
At 64, Johnny Otis is getting a second chance to do the thing he loves best: make music. Just a few years ago, the creator of such jazz and rhythm-and-blues hits as 1946's "Harlem Nocturne" and 1958's "Willie and the Hand Jive" found himself in involuntary retirement. Interest in R&B was on the wane and concert dates were scarce. "We had no audience at all for more than 10 years," Otis said earlier this week in an interview at his Altadena home.
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