Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis Presents the Best of R&B by the Original Artists

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This recent five-disc set issued by Laserlight isn't quite what it's implied to be, although no one makes any claims on the set that these are the original performances. Instead, they are the original performers doing their different versions of their greatest hits. Otis recorded these at various times (there are no dates given, which is a disgrace). Since Joe Turner, Amos Milburn, Louis Jordan and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson are no longer alive, their vocals are not recent, but no one can say when they did them. If this set were being marketed as great artists doing new versions of old hits, it would be perfectly acceptable, but there is something unsettling about what Laserlight has chosen not to say.

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