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Otis Rush (1934 – 2018), Chicago blues guitar legend

Getty Images / Paul Natkin

His guitar playing influenced many including Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton

Otis Rush (1934 – 2018) was a legendary Chicago blues guitarist known for his fluid jazz-influenced style which came to be known in Chicago as the West Side blues sound. He was a major influence on many guitarists including Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Carlos Santana.

Rush first rose to fame in 1956 with his hit song “I Can’t Quit You Baby.” He was honored by the City of Chicago in 2016 at the Chicago Blues Festival.

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Died: Saturday, September 29, 2018 (Who else died on September 29?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 84, announced on his website by his wife, Masaki Rush.


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Notable quote: “I was staying with my sister and messing around with the guitar every day for my own amusement. Then she took me around and introduced me to Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, and the first time I saw that onstage, it inspired me to play. I thought that was the world.”

What people said about him: “He was one of the last great blues guitar heroes. He was an electric God.” —Gregg Parker, CEO and a founder of the Chicago Blues Museum

Full obituary: Chicago Tribune

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