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He writes the songs

Brace Yourself: A Tribute to Otis Blackwell
Brace Yourself: A Tribute to Otis Blackwell
By various artists

Shanachie Records: 1994


This review first appeared in the March 4, 1994 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

If there had never been an Otis Blackwell, there might well have never been an Elvis Presley or even the explosion of rock 'n' roll. Who, you ask, is Otis Blackwell? Just the African-American composer who wrote songs such as "Return to Sender," "All Shook Up" and "Don't Be Cruel." Another Blackwell song, "Great Balls of Fire," launched the career of Jerry Lee Lewis.

This collection of Blackwell songs features performances of the above songs and more by artists as varied as blues guitarists Sue Foley and Joe Louis Walker, country singers Kris Kristofferson and Joe Ely, and rockers Chrissie Hynde, Deborah Harry and The Smithereens. The performances are powerful and enthusiastic; the material also includes such Blackwell classics as "Paralyzed," "Breathless" and "Let's Talk About Us."