Johnny Otis Is Dead: R&B Godfather Was 90 | Page 2 | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Johnny Otis Is Dead: R&B Godfather Was 90

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Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 8:07 AM

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The British Invasion of the '60s stopped Otis's musical life cold; he turned to painting, sculpting and raising chickens. In 1970, he hosted a live music special on KCET with T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner, Cleanhead Vinson, Little Esther and Roy Milton, with a crack band anchored by Johnny's son, the 16 year-old guitarist Shuggie Otis. It revitalized all of their careers and began an r 'n' b revival that took Otis all over the country and to Europe.

In 1982 Otis founded the Landmark Church in Los Angeles and for ten years he ran the swingingest services in town. His sermons were light on theology and heavy on music. On any given Sunday, Landmark might feature musicians like organist Jimmy Smith or singer Barbara Morrison.

He leaves behind his wife of 70 years, Phyllis, four children, nine grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

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