Remembering Don't Be Cruel and Great Balls Of Fire Songwriter Otis Blackwell
Otis was born in 1932 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up playing piano and listening to R&B and country tunes on the radio. "When I was young, I just sat down and started playing Chopsticks at the piano," Blackwell later remembered. "I got so far and then lost interest. Eventually, I regained it and started writing songs."
At the age of 20, he won the famous "Amateur Night" contest at New York City's Apollo Theater. As a result, he landed a record contract, first with RCA and then Jay-Dee. His first single was a song he wrote, "Daddy Rolling Stone," which went on to become pretty popular in Jamaica, where it was covered by Derek Martin. A decade later, it would become a regular selection in The Who's early performances. more on this story
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