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Midnight at the BarrelhouseThe Johnny Otis Story$
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George Lipsitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816666782

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816666782.001.0001

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Double Crossing Blues

Double Crossing Blues

(p.29) Two Double Crossing Blues
Midnight at the Barrelhouse

George Lipsitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter deals with Johnny Otis’ married life and the beginnings of his music career. Johnny’s first band was The Ink Spots. from the beginning, they usually performed at the annual Cavalcade of Jazz concerts at Wrigley Field. However, Otis had to eventually scale down his orchestra to a small rhythm and blues combo due as a result of pressures from the 1940s financial crisis. Despite this, he saw great success with this format. In the next ten years, Otis would find himself at the core of a musical and social revolution, with his music taking him to several Black communities, and giving him a firsthand perception of how Black people used cultural creativity in asserting their individual and collective significance against systematic oppression.

Keywords:   Johnny Otis, The Ink Spots, Cavalcade of Jazz, 1940s financial crisis, black community

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