I've been playing a lot of David Bowie this last week or so. His passing hit me hard. David won't be feeling lonely at the gates, every day seems to bring news of the passing of another name from the musical world.
Drew, over the kitchen table so to speak, alerted me to the death of a great singer – Otis Clay – recently. Otis died of a heart attack, age 73, two days before David Bowie. Otis Clay had a wonderful Soul and Blues voice and had been actively singing right up to his passing. He started his solo career in 1965 on the aptly named One-derful! Label (and I realise I don't have enough of his releases on that label.) Is It Over, featured here, is a tortured ballad of real intensity; produced by a moonlighting Willie Mitchell late in 1970 and release on Cotillion early in 1971. Otis would move to Willie's Hi label soon after and continue to release some top drawer Southern Soul. More recently he was a regular on the Blues and Gospel circuits.
A few days ago another legend of Southern Soul - Clarence Reid – succumbed to liver cancer. Some people may have known him by his alter ego Blowfly. As Blowfly he performed sexually explicit material in the 70s and 80s. I have never really explored that side of his career, knowing him better as a producer and writer for many Florida based acts, such as Betty Wright, Gwen McCrae and KC & The Sunshine Band. He also released some material under his own name in the early 70s too.
It's going to be quite a party up there this month. Rest In Peace guys.
(*co written and produced by Clarence Reid)