Song of The Day

Posted onFebruary 7, 2016

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Inspiration Information and also Strawberry Letter 23 room Shuggie Otis’ ideal known songs, the latter a big hit for The brothers Johnson from your album ideal On Time (1977) created under the accuse of Quincy Jones, the song reached No.5 ~ above the us chart. It’s a tune that you love if you understand it or you’ve never heard that – I’m no sure how this happens. Possibly a window opens in time, the tune appears, lives for a few weeks and also is gone. The brothers Johnson version was a funkier version of the song and also might have actually gone unnoticed if that wasn’t your genre – and also genres space what human being follow, not great songs or bands, genres. Execute Metallica fans listen to Reggae? “But ns listen to all kinds the music!” I don’t think most civilization do, or if they do they prefer nation or absent or spirit or electronic music or Punk or like the lady i met the other day said – Musicals. There’s not a many Salsa fans into The who – or?

In 1971 crossover in between genres might have been much more acceptable but by 1977 as soon as this was a hit because that The brothers Johnson, much less so. The trouble was that Strawberry Letter 23 wasn’t a fight in 1971 and also a windy that can have chosen it didn’t acquire to hear it. The brothers Johnson recorded their run Funk variation of Strawberry letter 23 in 1977 and also the soul of the original was rather lost, in spite of The Brothers johnsons admirable version. So if this wasn’t the genre you to be listening to in 1977 you probably had no idea who wrote it and how might you imagine just how the initial version sounded, specifically if girlfriend were into Punk Rock. And also remember, in those days the wasn’t so simple to accessibility music for this reason thoroughly and why would you if girlfriend didn’t recognize it also existed?

Shuggie Otis to be an prompt talent, play on Al Kooper’s Super conference Volume Two as soon as he was just 15 years old. He impressed B.B. King enough for him to comment that Otis to be his “favourite brand-new guitarist”. He additionally played bass on Peaches En Regalia on candid Zappa’s standard album hot Rats. The released, right here Comes Shuggie Otis in 1970, an outstanding debut the featured top musicians of the time, this because of his fathers affect – Dad played piano and organ on the debut album. His father to be Johnny Otis – musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, talent scout, bowl jockey, document producer, television display host, artist, author, journalist, minister, and impresario (and yes ns cut and also pasted this list). Dad found Etta James and huge Mama Thornton, Esther Phillips, Johnny Ace, Jackie Wilson and also more. Johnny Otis live a lengthy life and also died in 2012 aged 90.

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Strawberry Letter 23 was indigenous Otis’ second album Freedom trip released in 1971. Among the highlights and also unusual facets of Strawberry Letter 23 is the guitar section that sounds like it can be much more at house in a steady Rock band. Interesting way The brother Johnson additionally included this part in their variation of the tune considering the integral – Soul, Blues, Prog, Funk, Disco anybody?.

Inspiration information was exit in 1974. The location track reached No.56 top top the R&B charts and then unbelievably, Otis stopped making solo albums. In spectacular fashion he declined an sell to join the rojo Stones ~ above tour. Quincy Jones readily available to develop his next album, an sell he also declined. To this particular day Otis has not released a brand-new album. He played sessions because that his Dad and also finally released part unreleased tracks as an album in 2013 ~ above a CD reissue of incentive Information. The extra album referred to as Wings that Love is easily accessible through heritage recordings and includes material from 1975 onwards including some rare live performances.

A few years back Shuggie Otis lastly went ago out on the roadway playing on a package tour, 3rd on the bill with Robert Cray and Taj Mahal. Ns was there, the didn’t play Strawberry Letter 23 and also it seemed favor he to be adjusting come the idea of acquisition himself out onto the roadway again. Yet for all of us fans, Shuggie, we are so happy to have you back.

This is one excerpt native an interview the did v Wax Poetics in 2008. See full interview below:

What’s the real story behind “Strawberry Letter 23”

I’m glad you carried that up, since somebody consisted of some bullshit about that. When people used to ask me this back when I composed it, I supplied to execute a dual take, like, “What carry out you mean, what does the mean?’?” simply listen to the words and groove to it, you know? That’s every you need to do! There are all type of stupid small “meanings” the end there. Ns don’t know who do this ingredient up. It has actually nothing to perform with a scented letter, or someone in the Army. Someone told me that was around somebody in jail, and also I to be like, “What the heck are you talk about?”

Here’s what that about, Ronnie—it’s around a boy and also a girl who room in love v each other. And also they’re in a location that doesn’t seem prefer earth. And also you hear all this crazy, psychedelic stuff, however I wasn’t even on drugs once I composed the song. I hadn’t also experienced using LSD yet. It no a drug song. Ns was reasoning of a Xanadu type of a location where every little thing was simply cool, and there room no problems at all, you know? and also so you type of need to read in between the lines of what I at first thought this tune to be. It’s just like a paradise wherein these world in love space at, and they don’t even have to be together all the moment to feeling their love.

“Strawberry Letter” was that only thing i did all on my own from the album. It’s an incredible song to me now, more than it to be then. Then, ns was trying to create a pop song that would acquire on the radio, and also it did. But in the ago of my head, ns was reasoning that if I can write a song that was pop enough, that maybe I i will not ~ hit, however somebody else would, and they’ll make it a hit. And it happened. Christmas of ’76, we find out the Quincy Jones is through the brothers Johnson, and they’re walking to carry out “Strawberry Letter.” us jumped and also hollered. Quincy want to authorize me at one point, however let’s get earlier to wherein you were. I don’t want to enter that.

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Singer/guitarist Shuggie Otis shines light on dark days

Note the the tune is referred to as Strawberry Letter 23 – see the lyric.

Lyrics – Strawberry Letter 23

Hello, my loveI heard a kiss native youRed magic satin play near, tooAll with the morning rainI gaze – the sun doesn’t shineRainbows and also waterfalls run with my mindIn the garden – I view westPurple shower, bells and teaOrange birds and also river cousins dressed in greenPretty music i hearSo happy and loudBlue flowers echo indigenous a cherry cloudFeel sunshine sparkle pink and bluePlaygrounds will laugh

If you shot to askOr is the cool? is it cool?If girlfriend arrive and also don’t check out meI’m going to be with my babyI am cost-free – flying in she arms, end the seaStained window, yellow candy screenSee speakers of kites – v velvet roses diggin’ liberty flightA current from you – Strawberry letter 22The music plays, ns sit in for a fewOoh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…A existing from you – Strawberry letter 22The music plays, ns sit in for a fewOoh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…