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« ATLAS SOUND - Parallax | Main | VAN DYKE PARKS - Arrangements, Vol. 1 »
Thursday
Nov102011

VA - Midnight At The Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story, Volume 1 (1945-57)

We can't stop playing this in the shop—with the wide variety of '40s/'50s styles covered (from R&B to jump blues to fuller, big-band arrangements) and such standout tracks as "The Turkey Hop", "Oopy-Doo" and "Hound Dog", customers' ears pretty much always perk up, and we're invariably asked what we've thrown on. A real grabs-you-from-the-get-go crowdpleaser from an orchestral revue that clearly put on one heck of a show.

"Although universally recognized as an important figure in mid-20th century rhythm & blues, Johnny Otis did not make the most consistent records, whether he was the featured artist/singer or involved in more of a production capacity. This first volume of a two-part career overview compiles some of the more significant entries in his discography (a massive one if you count his productions)." - Allmusic

"The spectacular career of Johnny Otis was a microcosm of the entire Los Angeles postwar R&B and subsequent rock ‘n’ roll scene. He wore every hat imaginable during those rollicking years: bandleader, musician (drummer, vibist, and pianist), dynamic singer, prolific songwriter, hitmaking producer, label owner (Dig Records), deejay, and TV host, excelling at all[...] Ace’s 25-song overview of Otis’ dauntingly voluminous early catalog does a splendid job of examining the first dozen years of Johnny’s recording career, its songlist spanning no less than eight labels." - Blues Revue

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