Handy Man: Otis Blackwell Story / Various [Import][CD]
UK collection. Otis Blackwell's stellar songwriting career spans 20 years in American music, and embraces more all-time classics than most writers could have ever dreamed about penning. If Blackwell had only written 'All Shook Up', 'Fever' and 'Don't Be Cruel', he would have earned his place in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on the strength of these songs alone. He was one of Elvis' favourite songwriters and he provided the King with an impressive number of hits between 1956 and 1963. The awe in which Blackwell was held by his peers can be measured by the number of star names (including Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cliff Richard and Gene Pitney) who are singing his songs on Handy Man. His transition as a writer can be mapped by these 24 titles - many of which are new to CD - which chart his path from R&B tunesmith to Soul songsmith via many of his Rock 'n' Roll classics. It was hard to distil the incredible number of great Blackwell copyrights into the two dozen featured here - there's plenty of scope for a volume two if sales demand it.
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