Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

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."