A Mix: Spree VI, Friendship & Johnny Otis

I find myself swamped today, so this will be brief.

As mentioned in progress Saturday, the Texas Gal and I had a wonderful visit with jb – proprietor of The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ – and his Mrs. last weekend in what was billed as Midwest Blog Summit and Beer Spree VI. Activities added since I wrote last Saturday included Saturday lunch at the Old Creamery restaurant in the little burg of Rice, Minnesota, a Saturday evening visit with music expert and friend Yah Shure and a Sunday morning egg bake (with bacon on the side). As the years roll on, the Texas Gal and I realize more and more clearly how rare it is in this life to find true friends, and all three of those folks – jb, the Mrs. and Yah Shure – qualify, and we’re grateful we have them in our lives.

Planning will no doubt begin soon for Spree VII.

I did buy a few 45s during our Saturday road trip, but the true music jewel of the weekend was a CD copy of a long-enjoyed two-LP set, The Roots of Rock ’N Roll: The Savoy Sessions, courtesy of Yah Shure. One of the better-represented artists on that set is Johnny Otis, who passed on a week ago. 

Others have no doubt done a far better job at summing up Otis’ importance to R&B and rock ’n’ roll than I can, so I’ll just exit this morning with a quiet tribute to the man. Here’s “Head Hunter,” which was recorded in Los Angeles on December 19, 1949, and was released on Savoy 774.

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One Response to “A Mix: Spree VI, Friendship & Johnny Otis”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    It’s always fun to get together with “the gang” again! Any wagers on predicting the exact day when the Midwest Blog Summit and Beer Spree surpasses the Superbowl in the Roman numerals department? No matter the outcome, you should consider adding “Food Fest” to the working title. Many thanks for the additional fixin’s, particularly the fresh supply of the Texas Gal’s curry-apple-raisin chutney, as the original August allotment had been nearly depleted.

    Glad you’re enjoying the ‘Roots Of…’ Savoy Sessions discs. It was really weird to read of Johnny Otis’ death just one morning after having made the vinyl-to-digital transfers. Be sure to hang onto your vinyl copy for its splendid liner notes.

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