BluEsoterica *** Jim O'Neal


April 29, 2018

In honor of Otis Rush’s birthday, although we aren’t sure how old he actually is (see notes below, here is a short article I wrote, with assistance from Dick Shurman, for the 2018 Blues Festival Guide. There is much, much more to the Otis Rush story, of course, and I hope to write as much of it as I can.

Otis' birth date

April 29, 1934, is the usual birth date cited for Otis in his biographies and on his passport, but family members have told him it was 1935, and when he was enumerated for the census on April 5, 1940, under the name Junior Boyd, his age was listed as seven, which would indicate a 1932 birthdate if April 29 was his birthday. An old file card from the Chicago musicians' union shows it as 4-29-32.The first address for him on the card has xxxx's typed over it, but it's 4801 S. Indiana Ave., which many may recognize as the apartment building that housed Theresa's Lounge in the basement.