Shuggie Otis Biography

John Otis Jnr., 30 November 1953, Los Angeles, California, USA. A precociously talented guitarist, Otis was encouraged by his dance band father, Johnny Otis, who had him playing bass and lead guitar onstage in his early teens. Johnny Otis featured him on his 1969 Kent album, Cold Shot!, and through that Al Kooper espoused his cause and recorded his debut album for CBS Records. Father and son then both signed to Epic, and Shuggie appeared on his father’s albums, Cuttin’ Up (1970) and The Johnny Otis Show Live At Monterey! (1971), as well as doing session work for Don ‘Sugarcane’ Harris and playing bass on one track on Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats. Four solo albums of indifferent quality were issued by Epic before Otis retired at the grand old age of 22. In the years that followed, he continued to do session work for his father but drug problems hampered his efforts at reviving his own career, although he continued to remain active with a live band. ‘Strawberry Letter 23’, originally featured on 1971’s Freedom Flight, was a big US hit for the Brothers Johnson in 1977.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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