26 August 1902, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, d. 8 June 1972. Rushing began singing while still studying music at school in his home-town. By 1923 he was a full-time professional singer, working in California with, among others, Jelly Roll Morton and Paul Howard. Back home in the mid-20s he teamed up with Walter Page and then joined Bennie Moten, and by 1935 was a member of the Count Basie band. He remained with Basie until 1948 and then worked as a solo, sometimes leading a small band. During these later years he regularly worked with leading jazz artists including Benny Goodman, Buck Clayton, Basie, and, during tours of the UK, with Humphrey Lyttelton. Rushings voice was a slightly nasal high tenor that carried comfortably over the sound of a big band in full cry.
The fact that he sang at a somewhat higher pitch than most other male blues singers gave his performances a keening, plaintive quality. In fact, his singing style and...
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