Otis Spann


Otis Spann was the leading post-war Chicago blues pianist. Born in either Jackson, Mississippi or in the heart of the Delta, he moved to Chicago in 1946. By that time he already had gained some experience playing in the Jackson area. He also had blues in his blood: both his parents were musicians and his stepfather was a preacher and a musician. In Chicago he learnt from the best, and pretty soon he was the regular pianist for the big names of the day: Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf.

Just when his star was rising during the Sixties, he died of liver cancer in 1970. He was interred in an unmarked grave, until his headstone was paid for by donations from around the world in 1999. The text on the headstone reads: Otis played the deepest blues we ever heard – He’ll play forever in our hearts. In 1980 Spann was chosen in the Blues hall of fame.

It turns out I don’t have the original cover for this album. I think there must have been a mix up, and now I’m left with Josh White and Carl Sandburg. So I you happen to own this album, but you have a cover of Otis Spann, can we trade?

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