Brooklyn-born Otis Blackwell is without question one of the select songwriters whose songs literally helped redefine America's popular music in the early and mid 1950's. Probably best known for the smash hits Elvis Presley made out of a number of his songs, Blackwell's works have been recorded into immortality by a host of other major figures in the record field, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Brown, The Who, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty, The Judds, Carl Perkins and Peggy Lee, among numerous others.

Blackwell , whose more than 1,000 songs have sold nearly 200 million records, began his career in the late 40's, tinkering around with writing songs while making a living as a pants presser in a tailor shop. He was a singer as well and, in the early 50's, he actually performed in various clubs and theaters in Brooklyn, eventually deciding to soft-pedal the performing and to focus on writing. He actually recorded a song for producer and label executive Joe Davis, called "Daddy Rolling Stone." This became a minor rhythm and blues hit for Blackwell and years later it was recorded by The Who.

Though he gave up public performances, Blackwell possessed a basic singing style and manner that was highly effective. He performed on his own demo recordings, some of which caught the ear of colorful music publishing personality, Aaron "Goldie" Goldmark, who was associated with Shalimar Music Publishing. Goldmark who was already well-known in the Elvis Presley inner circle, managed to get Presley's people to hear some of Blackwell's demos, which became the great door opener every songwriter dreamt about.

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"GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!"

Discography Highlights

RETURN TO SENDER Winfield Scott, Otis Blackwell
Cherry River Music Co./Chrysalis Songs

ALL SHOOK UP Elvis Presley, Otis Blackwell
Cherry River Music Co./Chrysalis Songs/EMI Unart Catalog, Inc.

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