Charles “Honeyboy” Otis is a major figure in blues drumming, and the worlds of rock and R&B due to numerous recordings with artists outside the blues genre. Since 1964, when he was part of the rhythm section of the Joe Jones' Crescent City Band at the New York World's Fair, he has been an inspiration to New York studio drummers and bandleaders, alike.

Otis has performed with top a long list of top artists, including Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, John Hammond, The Isley Brothers, Charles Brown, and Professor Longhair (as a teen, when he got his first union card!).

As "Honey Man", Otis had a hit tune, Brother Bill (also known as, The Last Clean Shirt), which he wrote with Lieber and Stoller (Redbird Records).

A regular on the NYC blues scene, playing the famed Dan Lynch Sunday Jam for years, the name Honeyboy Otis immediately calls to mind the image of the great, bluesy drummer with a toothpick dangling from his mouth… whether performing or not!

Charles “Honeyboy” Otis was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as a Legendary Blues Artist on December 4, 2011.

Left: Charles Honeyboy Otis with Robert Ross

© December 2011
Photos: Susan O'Kane