Various Artists

Handy Man: The Otis Blackwell Songbook

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He might not have been a household name, but singer and songwriter Otis Blackwell's contributions to the early architecture of rock & roll is a major one. Among his compositions are such enduring classics as "Don't Be Cruel," "Fever," "All Shook Up," "Handy Man," "Great Balls of Fire," "The Shape I'm In," "Return to Sender," and "Daddy Rollin' Stone," just to name a few. That's quite a catalog. This set collects some two-dozen Blackwell songs done by artists ranging from Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley to Mahalia Jackson, Solomon Burke, Little Willie John, Gene Pitney, and more, and the wonderful R&B crackle of these versions simply underscores Blackwell's songwriting genius. His voice appears only once here, on a duet with Winfield Scott on a demo version of "One Broken Heart for Sale," but his voice, through his timeless songs, continues to reverberate and roll on without abatement in the 21st century.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:01
2 2:09
3 2:00
4 2:20
5 1:38
6 2:43
7 2:08
8 2:04
9 2:31
10 2:02
11 1:56
12 2:09
13 2:33
14 1:48
15 1:47
16 1:57
17 2:20
18 2:12
19 2:02
20 1:58
21 2:27
22 2:22
23 2:05
24 2:14
blue highlight denotes track pick