Johnny Otis

One of the most random careers in music belonged to a kid who grew up Greek and over a grocery store, JOHNNY OTIS. Singer, bandleader, composer, pianist, DJ & songwriter ( Harlem Nocturne, Every Beat of My Heart, Double Crossin Blues, Hand Jive, Dance with Me Henry). Born Greek, he completely integrated into the black community and immersed himself into their music. “If society dictated one had to be black or white, I chose to be black.” Among his talents he was said to be one helluva discoverer of talent. (Little Esther, Hank Ballard, Big Mama Thornton, Etta James, Jackie Wilson, The Robins.) Ran for congress, owned a grocery store, organic food company, blues club, had a TV show, was ordained, founded a gospel church, presided over the funeral of Roy Brown and Little Esther while he was known as Reverend Hand Jive.