Looking back over the Life of Johnny Otis, who passed earlier this week you are left with a vision of his amazing attributes. There is no question that this man was the very symbol of the blues. His creative genius went beyond his love of music.
The one thing that really set Johnny Otis apart from other musicians of his time was the way that he would meld his music together. Many of his 1950’s era songs were a classic combination of rhythm and blues and 1950’s style rock n roll. This gave him a signature sound that people enjoyed from the first time they heard him sing.
He didn’t stop there, he created beautiful canvases that capture his love of blues and in some way signify what blues music meant to him. His pieces are unique and remind me of a different time, a lost time. Even though the chances of getting an original are slim, there are canvas giclee prints available on his website and ranging in price from $485 to $755, more than I can ever pay yet still reasonable. He also created a few sculptures, that are rather interesting and unfortunately not for sale.
Johnny left behind a few books as well, including a cookbook titled Red Beans & Rice. The title alone says it all, this man had music burnt deep into his soul. It’s sad to see him go, however it gives me joy to realize that he left behind so much beauty through his music, artwork and writings.