The "Matriarch of the Blues" had grit in her voice that could melt like sugar or rub like salt in a wound. The great vocalist, whose turbulent life broke through in her affecting delivery, has died at age 73.
Bandleader and producer Johnny Otis, who launched and then nurtured the careers of many of R&B's greatest singers, died Tuesday at his home near Los Angeles. He was 90. Fresh Air remembers Otis with excerpts from a 1989 interview.
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