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Who the Hell is Johnny Otis? archival campaign

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Welcome to our campaign for this exciting, unique and powerful film, Who the Hell is Johnny Otis? Please enjoy the sample piece we produced to introduce you to Johnny’s story.

WHEN A HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR told him to quit his Black friends, Loannis Veliotes, the son of Greek immigrants, dropped out and became Johnny Otis, a legendary innovator of Rhythm & Blues.

A musician, artist, and writer, his book defending the 1965 Watts Riot– Listen to the Lambs–was a full-throated battle cry against racism
and white supremacy.

This is the provocative and inspiring story of the man who influenced R&B and Soul singers across generations, from Big Mama Thornton and Gladys Knight to Soul musicians today such as Bruno Mars and Jon Batiste.

Our goal with this Gofundme campaign is to take the film to another level by launching an extensive search for the hours of audio and video footage from Johnny's long career on the road and in television and radio. We know it's out there!
In addition, we're bringing Johnny’s sons Shuggie and Nick, both of whom were musicians in his band with him, together for a session of music and talk.
Whether you’re here because you are a fan of Johnny’s and the music he played such a vital role in creating and popularizing, or because you want to learn more about his singular career and his role in the fight against white supremacy, your help and support are crucial.
Please give what you can, and help spread the word.
And most of all, Thank You!


  • Nick Eliopulos
    • $13 
    • 4 mos
  • Moses Mora
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Mark Mori
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • john poole
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs
  • Steven Goldsmith
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs

Fundraising team (2)

David Zeiger
Los Angeles, CA
Veronica Aiken
Team member

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