Johnny Otis, ‘Godfather of Rhythm and Blues,’ Dies at 90

Otis died Jan. 17th, 2012, at his home in Altadena, California.

Jan 16, 2012

Lipsitz_midnight coverOtis_listen coverElected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Johnny Otis is a celebrated American blues and R & B musician. He was a painter, sculptor, author, and, until recently, the host of the Johnny Otis Show. He is author of Listen to the Lambs and his biography, Midnight at the Barrelhouse: The Johnny Otis Story, was written by George Lipsitz and published in 2010.

“Society wants to categorize everything, but to me it’s all African-American music,” he told The San Francisco Chronicle in 1993. “The music isn’t just the notes, it’s the culture — the way Grandma cooked, the way Grandpa told stories, the way the kids walked and talked.”

Read his obituary in the New York Times; a very nice article about his life and legacy in The Atlantic; and a lovely tribute by his biographer, George Lipsitz, on the U of MN Press blog.

NPR also has a few nice segments here and here.

University of Minnesota Press Podcast

More than two dozen essays of Indigenous resistance to the privatization and allotment of Indigenous lands

Allotment Stories: Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O'Brien.

A fascinating and unprecedented ethnography of animal sanctuaries in the United States

Saving AnimalsElan Abrell and Kathryn (Katie) Gillespie on sanctuary, care, ethics.

How popular debates about the so-called digital generation mediate anxieties about labor and life in twenty-first-century America

Making creative laborers for a precarious economy: Josef Nguyen, Carly Kocurek, and Patrick LeMieux.



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