Horace Ott was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina on April 15, 1933. He learned to play piano during his childhood. Once in high school, he played in the school band and started performing in, and writing for, a local jazz band. He studied music at the South Carolina State University graduating in 1955. He spent the next two years in the marching band for the US Army. In his mid-twenties, Ott moved to New York, where he spent his days working in a factory and his evenings playing in nightclubs. While in New York, Mr. Ott says he “accidentally rediscovered Gloria, my childhood friend from home in St. Matthews. We began a lifetime of music and family.” Mr. Ott has arranged, recorded and/or conducted with some of the best including, Sam Cook, Nat King Cole, Count Basie with Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, George Benson, the Stylistics, Marilyn McCoo and Bill Davis. Also, he arranged nearly all the Village People’s early hits including “Macho Man” “In the Navy” and “Y.M.C.A.”
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