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Otis Rush (born April 29, 1935 in Philadelphia, Mississippi) is maybe the greatest guitar king ever to make Chicago blues. He is also well known for his electrifying voice and for being one of the first baritones to reach popularity in the blues industry. Rush uses his great voice to deliver his songs with plenty of experience and pure emotion.

Otis Rush was born in 1935 as one of seven children. 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. (

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.

Otis Rush