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Today in Music -1934 – Happy Birthday, Otis Rush!

Otis RushSo born on this day in 1935 was a very influential blues musician Mr. Otis Rush. Rush is a native of Philadelphia… Mississippi that is! Wikipedia has this to say about Rush…

… His distinctive guitar style features a slow burning sound and long bent notes. With similar qualities to Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, his sound became known as West Side Chicago blues and became an influence on many musicians including Michael Bloomfield and Eric Clapton.

Rush is left-handed and, unlike many other left-handed guitarists, plays a left-handed instrument strung upside-down with the low E string at the bottom. He played often with the little finger of his pick hand curled under the low E for positioning. It is widely believed that this contributes to his distinctive sound. He has a wide-ranging, powerful tenor voice.Continue Reading

I was for some reason never a big fan of Otis Rush. None of his albums appear in my library..mistake…not to self check him out! Anyway, I went to find a video of Otis and the one I found was Otis performing the Willie Dixon song…. “I Can’t Quit You” again from Wikipedia:

I Can’t Quit You Baby” was a vehicle for arranger/producer Dixon to launch Rush and Cobra Records, as it was the first single for both. In this regards, it was a success, reaching #6 in the Billboard R&B chart in 1956. In his autobiography, Willie Dixon explained that “I Can’t Quit You Baby” was written about a relationship that Rush seemed to be preoccupied with at the time and that Dixon used that to draw out an impassioned performance by Rush. Read More

Now us classic rockers may know the Led Zeppelin version that appears on their début album just a little better. You can watch it here

But this morning belongs to Otis, so here’s his version of the song. Happy 79th Birthday, Otis!