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Otis Rush

Otis Rush

"Nobody can tell you how the blues feel unless they have the blues."

Otis Rush was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, on April 29, 1934. As a youngster, Otis Rush taught himself to play harmonica and guitar. Otis Rush is left-handed and as many other left-handed blues guitarists, he plays a right-handed guitar upside down and left-handed. He worked with his mother and his brothers and sisters in the field, and sometimes he sang and played guitar in the church. Otis Rush moved to Chicago in 1948. Listening to Muddy Waters live on stage inspired Otis Rush to start a career as a blues artist and soon he began to play in clubs on Chicago's South Side. In 1956, Otis Rush signed with Cobra Records. Cobra released his first hit I Can't Quit You Baby. After Cobra had collapsed, Otis Rush switched to Chess Records where he had his hit All Your Love (I Miss Loving), played in rumba rhythm. Otis Rush later made recordings for Duke, Vanguard, Cotillion, Capitol, Bullfrog, Quicksilver, Alligator, Mercury, Blind Pig, and House of Blues. Otis Rush represents the second generation of Chicago blues artists who broke with the rural musical traditions to develop a more sophisticated way to sing and play the blues. Otis Rush has a sonorous tenor voice with an unique timbre and he is admired for his expressive vocal style. Otis Rush likes to play in minor keys and impresses with his lyrical and feelingly guitar playing. In 1998, Otis Rush won a Grammy Award in the category Best Traditional Blues Album for his release, Any Place I'm Goin'. Otis Rush's song I Can't Quit You Baby is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, selected by the curatorial staff and a number of rock critics and historians. In February 2004, Otis Rush suffered a stroke. His fans all over the world hope he soon will recover and be back on stage again.

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