Upside Your Head!: Rhythm and Blues on Central Avenue
Legendary jazzman Johnny Otis has spent a lifetime at the center of L.A.'s black music scene as a composer, performer, producer, d.j., activist, and preacher. His energetic, anecdotal memoir, Upside Your Head! Rhythm and Blues on Central Avenue, recalls the music, the great performers, and the vibrant culture of the district, as well as the political and social forces -- including virulent white racism -- that have shaped black life in Los Angeles. Resonating with anger, poignancy, joy, and defiance, Upside Your Head! is a unique document of the African-American musical and cultural experience.
Upside Your Head! recalls a 50-year career when it seems Otis either encountered, discovered, or performed with every significant figure in the early days of rhythm & blues and rock 'n' roll, including Count Basie, Esther Phillips, T-Bone Walker, Big Mama Thornton, and Lester Young. Drawing on dozens of vignettes, personal photographs, and hours of taped interviews from the popular "Johnny Otis Show," Upside Your Head! offers a moving tribute to the black community that gave birth to L.A.'s rhythm and blues. His stories celebrate the true roots in black culture of a distinctive American music while lamenting its eventual appropriation by the dominant white society.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Johnny Otis and His Orchestra Club Alabam Los Angeles 1946 i
Sweet N Hot Basketball Team circa 1944
Orpheum Theatre Poster 1946
Bardu Ali and Johnny Otis the Barrelhouse Club 1948
Jimmy Witherspoon and the Jackson Brothers Band Watts South Health Coun
African American ain't Angeles artistry artists B. B. King Bardu Barrelhouse Club beat became Big Mama Billy Black music blues hits blues music broadcast Buddy California Central Avenue Chicano Cleanhead Club Alabam Coozahn cops Count Basie Count Otis dance dolls drug drummer Duke Ellington early feel fifties forties gonna guitar Hand Jive Harlan hell Illinois Jacquet jazz Jimmy Joe Turner Johnny Otis Show Jordan Kansas City kids knew Landmark Community Church Lester Young Listen Little Esther Phillips lived Louis Mingus motherfucker musicians never night Otis's performers Phyllis piano played drums players preachers Preston Love Quinchette racism radio Redd Foxx remember Reverend rhythm and blues rock and roll Rodney King saxophone shit Shuggie Otis singing song Sonny stuff T-Bone Walker talent talk Theatre thing thought told traditional Watts West Oakland Willie Wynonie Yeah