Singer, Bandleader Johnny Otis dies at 90

This sad news today came to me via

Johnny Otis, Pioneering R&B Singer & Bandleader, Dies at 90

Although white, he lived his life as an African-American

By Jeff Tamarkin

Johnny Otis, the white child of Greek immigrants who aligned himself with black culture and became a pioneer of rhythm & blues music, died Jan. 17 in the Los Angeles area at age 90. A cause of death was not reported. Best known as the author of the R&B staple “Willie and the Hand Jive,” Otis’ career as a singer, musician, bandleader, songwriter, producer, arranger, talent scout, author, impresario and disc jockey spanned more than six decades.

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