Listen: The Johnny Otis Hand Jive / The Johnny Otis Show
Later issued as the more familiar ‘Wille And The Hand Jive’, whatever that’s meant to mean, this original pressing went by ‘The Johnny Otis Hand Jive’. Either way, it wasn’t until many years later did I realize where the blueprint for The Strangeloves sound originated. And that’s okay, both have co-existed just fine in the record collection.
I think this was known as race music in it’s day, despite Johnny Otis himself being a white guy. Greek to be exact. Quite a compliment then.
Listen: The Watts Breakaway / The Johnny Otis Show
Seems The Johnny Otis Show’s sell by date had past by ’69, when their only Okeh release, ‘The Watts Breakaway’ hit a small smattering of record store shelves that summer. Despite fun filled lyrics like “I’m the duckin-est dodgin-est, dancin-est cat you ever knew”, the single’s theme, a new dance, was most likely considered dreadfully out of step with the times, relegating it to our favorite place in record colletordom, a flop and hard to find.
Turning up this seemingly factory fresh copy, with it’s sparking new and unblemished Okeh stock sleeve, in a $1 box full of 80′s hits was terribly baffling. How did it get there? And where are all the other records it’s been coexisting with for around four decades? Never content I guess.
Admittedly, it’s rude to keep pounding $1 finds, but let me advise you all, finding 60′s and 70′s soul, jazz and RnB 7″ valuables laughably underpriced at hipster indie rock shops is a miracle that still exists in real time. That’s all I’m saying.