Handy Man: The Otis Blackwell Songbook Various Artists (Songwriter Series)

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Rock'n'Roll
Label:
Ace Records
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1346

Arguments over who the greatest rock’n’roll songwriter is will abound long after those reading this have gone to meet their maker. But surely near the top of everyone’s list of contenders would have to be Otis Blackwell, a one-man hit factory whose catalogue includes more classic rock’n’roll songs than any other single songwriter of his time. His compositions for Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis alone would guarantee his entry into every music Hall Of Fame.

“Handy Man”, named after the song that brought worldwide chart fame to Jimmy Jones in 1959, is a worthy tribute to a man who, if he’d only written ‘Fever’, would still be regarded as one of the foremost composers of the rock’n’roll era.

Compiled in the spirit of previous entries in our songwriter series, it’s much more than merely a collection of Otis’ 24 greatest hits, sung by those who recorded them first. We like to mix it up a bit, so the title track is heard in Del Shannon’s stomping 1964 version, while Jimmy Jones is represented with another fine Otis Blackwell song. Those interested enough to purchase will have more than a passing familiarity with Elvis’ version of ‘All Shook Up’, so rather than reissue that for the gazillionth time, we instead bring the song to you by David Hill, whose rare original makes its first legitimate CD appearance here. Likewise ‘Don’t Be Cruel’: rather than Elvis we bring you Jerry Lee Lewis’ uproarious take, in preference to any of the Otis Blackwell compositions generally associated with him. As for Elvis, being spoilt for choice made us opt for his first, and one of his very best, post-Army recordings; ‘Make Me Know It’ reignited his recording career and was deemed potent enough to kick off his “Elvis Is Back” album.

The songs featured in “Handy Man” cover roughly from around 1953 to 1963. Later offerings by Solomon Burke and Sam Butera show that, unlike some of his peers, Otis easily adapted to the changes in music as the 1960s unfolded. How durable his compositions were are demonstrated by Derek Martin’s classic 1962 cut of ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’, which Otis had recorded as a menacing blues almost a decade earlier. Via Martin, the song became a boastful declaration of intent for a new generation of sharp boys, and of English mods in particular.

Brace yourself for a masterclass in rock’n’roll songwriting by a man who was much more than merely handy with a pen and paper.

By Tony Rounce

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    Make Me Know It - Elvis Presley

  • 02
    I Told Myself A Lie - Clyde McPhatter

  • 03
    Don't Be Cruel - Jerry Lee Lewis

  • 04
    My Pigeon's Gone - The Five Keys

  • 05
    Cool Baby - Charlie Gracie

  • 06
    Fever - Little Willie John

  • 07
    Slow Motion - Wade Flemons

  • 08
    The Shape I'm In - Johnny Restivo

  • 09
    Priscilla - Eddie Cooley and the Dimples

  • 10
    Brace Yourself - Ben E King

  • 11
    All Shook Up - David Hill

  • 12
    Nine Times Out Of Ten - Cliff Richard and the Shadows

  • 13
    I'll Find You - Gene Pitney

  • 14
    For My Good Fortune - Mahalia Jackson

  • 15
    Hey Little Girl - Thurston Harris

  • 16
    Honky Tonky - The Queen (Dinah Washington)

  • 17
    Please, Mister Mayor - Roy Clark

  • 18
    Just Keep It Up (And See What Happens) - Dee Clark

  • 19
    Too Long Will Be Too Late - Jimmy Jones

  • 20
    One Broken Heart For Sale ( (demo)) - Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott

  • 21
    Daddy Rollin' Stone - Derek Martin

  • 22
    I Feel Good All Over - Sam Butera and the Witnesses

  • 23
    Home In Your Heart - Solomon Burke

  • 24
    Handy Man - Del Shannon

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes

One of the best songwriters of the rock'n'roll era. ★★★★

Record Collector

Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012