I've been wanting to do a Johnny Otis post here since I started this thing. However, I've concluded it's just too daunting a task. Among being a bandleader, DJ, civil rights activist, dad to Shuggie Otis, nightclub owner and A&R guy, Johnny Otis has been influential in nearly every kind of music posted here at the Flu. Well, maybe not the hillbilly stuff, but he did write "Crazy Country Hop."
Instead, today we'll focus on one of his many great sidemen, Pete "Guitar" Lewis, a little celebrated but great guitar player who made way too few recordings, and most of them are as a member of Johnny Otis' band. Lewis was Otis' guitar player from 1948 to 1957. Below we have one of his solo recordings on Federal (the b-side of this record is by Pete "Harmonica" Lewis, where he displays his formidable talent on another instrument), A couple of sides with the Johnny Otis Orchestra, and one with the same band backing "Big Mama" Thornton. You can also hear PGL on the original version of "Hound Dog" at this post.
Download: "Shake It" 1952, mp3
Download: "I Smell A Rat" 1952, mp3.
Download: "Freight Train Boogie" 1950, mp3.
Download: "Raggedy Blues" 1952, mp3.
Buy music by Pete "Guitar" Lewis, "Big Mama Thornton", and Johnny Otis
at Amazon or your local independently owned record store.