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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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Midnight at the Barrelhouse

Midnight at the Barrelhouse

(p.159) Eight Midnight at the Barrelhouse
Midnight at the Barrelhouse

George Lipsitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter talks about how Johnny Otis’ ideology, life, and legacy are in conflict with dominant norms in the United States, leading to the answer to the question of why his life has been scarcely understood. The general media regularly celebrate white identifications with Black music, saluting rock ’n’ roll as a major force in making desegregation possible during the 1950s and 1960s, without acknowledging how racist the music industry is. Musicians such as Johnny Otis and Preston Love write the truth about the industry and then spur bitter reactions from readers who do not understand the sources of their dissatisfaction. Ultimately, this biography has been a story of confronting the moral challenges that appear at the crossroads in our lives, while drawing inspiration from the good example provided by the insight and artistry of Johnny Otis.

Keywords:   Johnny Otis, US norms, Black music, rock ’n’ roll, Preston Love, racism

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