Otis Rush: “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and “So Many Roads”

Here is the beginning of Mississippi Blues Trail’s entry on Otis Rush:

The blues form reached both artistic and emotional peaks in the works of Otis Rush, who was born south of Philadelphia in Neshoba County in 1935. His music, shaped by the hardships and troubles of his early life in Mississippi, came to fruition in Chicago in the 1950s. As a singer, guitarist, bandleader, and songwriter, Rush set new standards in Chicago blues and influenced countless blues and rock musicians, including Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Otis Rush rose from the poverty of a Mississippi sharecropper’s life to international fame as one of the most passionate singers and brilliant guitarists in the blues world. Rush, the sixth of seven children, was born in 1935, according to family sources, although biographies often give his birth date as 1934. His mother, Julia Campbell Boyd, ended up raising her family alone on farms in Neshoba and Kemper counties. During the throes of the Great Depression in a segregated society, although times were hard, with the children often missing school to work in the cotton fields, Julia Boyd did own a wind-up Victrola record player. Rush heard blues records at home and on jukeboxes in Philadelphia when his mother would bring him to town. He began playing harmonica, and also sang in a church choir. (Continue Reading…)

Above is “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” with the added bonus of the world’s greatest MC. Below is “So Many Roads.”

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