“In the fifties, that powerful melancholy force, that Afro-American art form called the blues began to develop into Rhythm and Blues. At first we were stepchildren, but we blew all those other pop artists out of the water. Rhythm and Blues became known as Rock and Roll and, of course, it’s the folk music of the entire world.” - Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis - New York Times Obituary

‘Godfather of Rhythm and Blues,’ Dies at 90 - 1/20/12

Johnny Otis, with the West Oakland HouseRockers, circa 1939

EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART - the documentary currently in post-production - is a personal and musical biography of Johnny Otis, the musician, bandleader, producer and songwriter who is often called the Godfather of Rhythm & Blues. But it is more than the biography of one man, just as the story of R&B is about much more than music. Johnny's odyssey through the world of African-American music in the 20th Century is a window into arenas of race and culture that have defined and transformed contemporary America - and, in turn, have touched the whole world. 

Dave Alvin on Johnny Otis, Big Joe Turner & West Coast Blues

Here's an interview we did for the "Every Beat..." doc with the great musician/songwriter  Dave Alvin - who grew up in the LA area and has been a Johnny Otis fan since he was a teenager.

Check out Dave's tribute to Big Joe Turner and
the Central Avenue R&B scene:  Boss of the Blues 
- on the album,  
"Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women" -
available HERE.
More Dave...HERE.