Rush worked in the fields to help his mother in his younger days. Otis, along with his other brothers and sisters, had to support each other without the help from a father figure. Rush moved to Chicago in 1948, after learning to play harmonica and the guitar, which he played upside down and left-handed. It was here that he found out that he could play, create, and write songs for himself. By 1954 he had begun to play the guitar in earnest, inspired first by the rugged Delta blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and then by the recordings of B.B and Albert King.
Rush gained enough respect in Chicago blues circles for the composer and bass player Willie Dixon to help him secure a recording contract with Cobra Records in 1956. (www.Blueflamecafe.com) Rush signed with Cobra Recordings. He released his first single "Can't Quit You Baby", which became number nine on the top-ten list. Cobra Recording collapsed so Rush had to go elsewhere.
For a time he recorded with Chess Records, Duke Records, Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, and Quicksilver Recording Company. Although Otis Rush has gone through hard times and situations in his lifetime, he still remains one of the greatest blues artists in the United States. He still performs although for a time he had gone into retirement. Otis Rush has to be one of Mississippi's most talented artists.
Timeline for Otis Rush: 1935 Otis Rush born in Philadelphia, Mississippi 1948 Otis Rush moved to Chicago. 1954 Rush began playing the guitar. 1956 Otis Rush signed a contract with Cobra Records. 1960 Rush signed with Chess Records.
1961 Rush switched to Duke Recording Label. 1969 Rush received a contract with Cotillion Records. 1970 Rush signed a contract with Capitol Records. 1976 Bullfrog recording label bought Rush's song “Right Place, Wrong Time” 1994 Rush under Quicksilver Records Released the album Ain’t Enough Common’ In.
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