Peak UK Chart Position: #12 in April 1980.

Houston, Texas-born Otha Leon Haywood was a former keyboard player in Sam Cooke’s band, in-between trying to forge a career of his own. Born in 1942, he had learned to play piano from the age of three, performed in a local group in his teens, and recorded his first solo effort – an instrumental – in the early 1960s. He would have to wait until 1975 before his first – and only – substantial hit in America, “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You”, which made number twelve on the US Billboard Hot 100. It has been covered four times, and sampled copiously over the years by various rap artists, most successfully in “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg in 1992.

“Don’t Push It Don’t Force It” was his only UK success, spending a couple of weeks at number twelve, as well as reaching number two on the American R&B charts. He remained active in the music industry until his death last year on April 5th, at the age of 74.

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