Otis Blackwell

From Academic Kids

Otis Blackwell (16 February 1931 - 6 May 2002) was a songwriter, singer, and pianist whose work significantly influenced rock'n'roll in the 1950s. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and died in Nashville, Tennessee. He first became famous by winning a local talent contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

Although he composed many songs that became hits, they did not do so under his own name, but that of others. This may have been due to the pervading climate of racial prejudice, as is shown by his use of the "white-sounding pseudonym John Davenport," [1] (http://www.spectropop.com/remembers/OBobit.htm) which was also the name of his stepfather. Throughout his lifetime, Blackwell composed more than a thousand songs, garnering worldwide sales of close to 200 million records.

Otis Blackwell was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1986 and in 1991 into the National Academy of Popular Music's Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Otis Blackwell passed away in 2002 and was interred in Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Nashville.

Songs he composed, with the performer whom made them famous, include:

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