Songwriter/record producer CLYDE OTIS has died. He was 83. Otis, best known for his lengthy collaboration with singer Brook Benton, passed away at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey on 8 January (08). Born in rural Mississippi in 1924, Otis wrote some of the best known songs from the early days of rock 'n' roll, including Endlessly, The Stroll and Baby (You've Got What It Takes). But it was the dozen or so hits he created with Benton, starting with It's Just A Matter Of Time, that helped make Otis a big name. He also wrote songs for stars including Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan and was something of a trailblazer, becoming one of the first black executives at a major record label - Mercury.