(born Emmit Ellis Jr.
, November 10, 1935, Homer
) is an American blues
and R&B musician
, composer and singer
. His style incorporates elements of soul blues
Born Emmit Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana, Rush was the son of Ellis Sr. and Mattie Elllis. His father was a pastor whose guitar and harmonica playing provided early musical influences. As a young child he began experimenting with music using a sugar-cane syrup-bucket and a broom-wire diddley bow. Around 1946, he and the family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas
where his father took on the pastorate of a church. It was here that Rush would become friends with Elmore James
, slide-player Boyd Gilmore (Elmore's cousin), and piano-player Moose John Walker; eventually forming a band to support his singing, as well as harp and guitar playing. Still a teen, Rush donned a fake mustache to play in local juke joints with the band fascinated by enthusiasm of the crowds. His family relocated to Chicago
in 1953 where he became part of the local blues scene in the following decade.
It was in the early 70s that his self-penned "Chicken Heads" cracked the Billboard R&B chart on Galaxy, after being picked up from a small label started by former Vee Jay Records producer, Calvin Carter (#34, 1971). He later recorded with leading black music label, Philadelphia International, releasing his first album,... Read More