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.
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UPSIDE YOUR HEAD!: Rhythm and Blues on Central AvenueUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Hodgepodge of essays, reminiscences, and radio-interview transcripts by L.A.-based R&B drummer/concert promoter/songwriter Otis. Born John Veliotes in 1921 to a Greek-American family, Otis has become ... Read full review
Upside your head!: rhythm and blues on Central AvenueUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Music legend Otis's lifelong activism spans music, religion, politics, and business. This latest endeavor, a mix of music, culture, and race politics, is a bold and risky attempt to rattle white ... Read full review
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