Bobby Rush: “Blues Singer–Plus”

Playbill for a classic Rush performance, courtesy of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South.

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Bobby Rush: “Blues Singer–Plus”

by William R. Ferris
Southern Cultures, Vol. 17, No. 4: Music

"I try to get the people in my hand, for them to love me, and once I get them in my hand, I can then tell them what I've come to tell them. And I come to tell them about the blues. It's just like a preacher."

Bobby Rush’s musical career has taken him from Homer, Louisiana, to Arkansas, Chicago, and to his current home in Jackson, Mississippi, where he has lived since the early 1980s. His first instrument was a one-strand diddley bow made from a broom wire. His father Emmit Ellis Sr. was a minister who played guitar and harmonica in his church and encouraged his son’s interest in music.