Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis (born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes (Ιωάννης Αλέξανδρος Βελιώτης); December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012) was a first generation Greek-American singer, musician, composer, bandleader, record producer, and talent scout. He was a seminal influence on American R&B and rock and roll. He discovered numerous artists early in their careers who went on to become highly successful in their own right, including Little Esther Phillips, Etta James, Alan O’Day, Big Mama Thornton, Johnny Ace, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, Hank Ballard, and The Robins, among many others. Otis has been called the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues”.

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