Album: Freedom Flight
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Shuggie Otis’s version of “Strawberry Letter 23” came to me in a roundabout way. Because his version wasn’t a hit single back when it was released in 1971, the only version I was acquainted with was the 1977 hit single version by the Brothers Johnson, which apparently happened because one of the Brothers was dating Shuggie’s cousin.
That version was a massive hit, making it to number #5 on the Billboard pop charts and #1 on the Billboard R&B charts. Still, it wasn’t until 2001 when finally heard Shuggie’s version, and that was on a reissue of his 1974 album, Inspiration Information where they tacked on four tracks from Freedom Flight, including “Strawberry Letter 23.”