Strawberry Letter 23  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Strawberry Letter 23" is a song written by Shuggie Otis, although known most prominently by the version done by The Brothers Johnson. Otis wrote the song for a girlfriend who used strawberry-scented paper when she wrote letters to him. George Johnson of The Brothers Johnson was dating one of Otis' cousins when he came across Freedom Flight, Otis' 1972 album that featured the song. The group later recorded it for their 1977 album Right On Time, under the legendary producer Quincy Jones, and the album went platinum. "Strawberry Letter 23", as recorded by The Brothers Johnson in a funkier, more dance-oriented vein than the original Otis version, hit the Hot 100 and peaked at number five and reached number one on the Soul Singles chart in 1977. The famous guitar solo in this song was originally recorded by Shuggie Otis. Studio guitar player Lee Ritenour later recreated Shuggie Otis' original solo for The Brothers Johnson 1977 album.

The Brothers Johnson version of the song featured prominently in the "Ecotone" episode of the HBO series Six Feet Under when main character Nate Fisher and his brother David experienced a shared dream which included their deceased father. The opening riff of the Brothers Johnson version is also being played at University of Kentucky football home games during the 2009 season as the captains take to the field for the coin toss; two of the team's captains during the season are brothers Christian and Micah Johnson.

The song was covered by Tevin Campbell on his debut release, T.E.V.I.N. in 1992 and hit #40 on the Billboard R&B charts. It was used in Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown. It was featured in the second episode of the third season of Nip/Tuck. It was also included in the Collector's Edition of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. It was also featured in a commercial for Special K Red Berries breakfast cereal and one for Diet Coke.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Strawberry Letter 23" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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