I'd hate to be a songwriter starting a career today...Al Stanton walked in one day and said, 'Otis, I've got an idea. Why don't you write a song called "All Shook Up"?' Two days later I brought the song in and said, 'Look, man, I did something with it.'
There have been many times when I've been asked to appear and I'd say to myself, what am I going to talk about? Early on, when I did interviews, I'd tell everyone, Don't ask me about dates. I don't even remember what I did yesterday.
I used to go down every year for the remembrance of Elvis' birthday. Memphis State College invited me to sit in the auditorium and speak to the people for one of those Elvis days.
I like this town, it's really great. They've put me in The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This town is about music. It's about the kind of music I like.
When I started writing it was kind of hard getting people to do my stuff. They' say they couldn't do my style.
I always figured it was best if I write my songs, take them to my publisher and just lay back. There used to be so many things going on - getting to the artist, getting to the publishers - you know, politics. I just didn't want to get mixed up in all of that.
When I was young, I just sat down and started playing Chopsticks at the piano. I got so far and then lost interest. Eventually, I regained it and started writing songs.
I used to be with a publishing house called Roosevelt Music. A gentleman there told me he had seen Peggy Lee perform Fever in Las Vegas and I found out later she wanted to record it.
I got behind that pencil and nothing happened for many years, but since they put me in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, I've turned around. I took a good look at myself and said, I think it's time to get back at work.
I'd hate to be a songwriter starting a career today.
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