Johnny Otis Show: Vintage 1950's Broadcasts from Los Angeles

Johnny Otis Show: Vintage 1950's Broadcasts from Los Angeles

by Johnny OtisJohnny Otis


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First things first: this isn't exactly a Johnny Otis record, even though some of the tracks are by him or the Johnny Otis Band. It's actually a compilation based around air checks and live broadcasts from 1950s radio and television shows in which Otis was the radio DJ, host, and/or one of the performers. It's confusing, indeed, to try to describe as a soundbite sentence in a record review, particularly as it also includes actual records (taken from the masters, not from the tapes of the broadcasts) that Otis played on his shows by the likes of Billy Ward & the Dominoes, Kip Tyler & the Flips, Don & Dewey, and Larry Williams -- not to mention ads, too, and even a 30-second radio spot from the early '60s by Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills endorsing Otis' candidacy for California state assembly. The liner notes aptly describe it as an "audio-verite collage" and if you're willing to listen to such an unconventionally structured compilation, it's a pretty fun spin for dedicated 1950s R&B
ock & roll fans. That's not really because of the music, which is decent (and sometimes quite rare), but not great. It's more because it captures the humor, spontaneity, and slightly mad flavor of how the music was presented to the public back when R&B and rock & roll were new, when ads for barbershops, off-the-cuff artist interviews (jazzbo Slim Gaillard somehow shows up for one here), and generally outrageous DJ shenanigans went shoulder-to-shoulder with the actual music. It's not totally lacking in musical rewards either, with some previously unissued live broadcasts featuring Otis (including a version of his hit "Willie & the Hand Jive"), the Penguins, and far more obscure singers Marie Adams and Little Arthur Matthews, all in okay sound quality considering the age of the broadcasts. Some of the records played between the chatter are pretty hot too, like Don & Dewey's frantic, Little Richard-like "Justine" and Kip Tyler & the Flips' Bo Diddley-ish novelty "Jungle Hop."

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2003
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667198127
catalogNumber: 981
Rank: 105317

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Otis   Primary Artist
Jeani Mack   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Willie Mabon   Composer
Johnny Otis   Composer
Joe Liggins   Composer
Larry Williams   Composer
Count Basie   Composer
Benny Goodman   Composer
Lionel Hampton   Composer
Dewey Terry   Composer
Terry Fell   Composer
Henry Glover   Composer
Don "Sugarcane" Harris   Composer
Will Weldon   Composer
Curtis "Fitz" Williams   Composer
Alec Palao   Liner Notes,Concept
Lowman Pauling   Composer
Doug Salma & The Highlander   Liner Notes
Kip Tyler   Composer
Earle H. Hagen   Composer
Roy Jacobs   Composer

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