Otis Blackwell

Genres: Jazz Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
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Decades: 1950s 1970s 1990s 2000s
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16 February 1932, Brooklyn, New York, USA, d. 6 May 2002, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The author of ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, ‘Fever’, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘All Shook Up’, Blackwell was one of the greatest songwriters of the rock ‘n’ roll era. He learned piano as a child and grew up listening to both R&B and country music. Victory in a talent contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre led to a recording contract with Joe Davis’ Jay-Dee label. His first release was his own composition ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’, which became a favourite in Jamaica where it was recorded by Derek Martin. The song later became part of the Who’s ‘Mod’ repertoire. During the mid-50s, Blackwell also recorded in a rock ‘n’ roll vein for RCA Records and Groove before turning to writing songs for other artists. His first successes came in 1956 when Little Willie John’s R&B hit with the sultry...

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