I Ain't Studdin' Ya, My American Blues Story Hardcover Book

Experience music history with this memoir by one of the last of the genuine old school Blues and R&B legends, the Grammy-winning dynamic showman Bobby Rush.

This memoir charts the extraordinary rise to fame of living blues legend, Bobby Rush. Born Emmett Ellis, Jr. in Homer, Louisiana, he adopted the stage name Bobby Rush out of respect for his father, a pastor. As a teenager, Rush acquired his first real guitar and started playing in juke joints in Little Rock, Arkansas, donning a fake mustache to trick club owners into thinking he was old enough to gain entry. He led his first band in Arkansas between Little Rock and Pine Bluff in the 1950s. It was there he first had Elmore James play in his band. Rush later relocated to Chicago to pursue his musical career and started to work with Earl Hooker, Luther Allison, and Freddie King, and sat in with many of his musical heroes, such as Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Little Walter. Rush eventually began leading his own band in the 1960s, crafting his own distinct style of funky blues, and recording a succession of singles for various labels. It wasn't until the early 1970s that Rush finally scored a hit with "Chicken Heads." More recordings followed, including an album which went on to be listed in the Top 10 blues albums of the 1970s by Rolling Stone and a handful of regional jukebox favorites including "Sue" and "I Ain't Studdin' Ya."

320 pages, 6.5" x 9.5"

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"A fascinating story well told... A richly detailed account of a bluesman’s full life." ―Kirkus Reviews

"[I Ain't Studdin' Ya features] short, conversational chapters written in a leisurely, friendly, and down-home style.” ―Booklist

“Merely living and surviving nine decades would be marked as a huge accomplishment for anyone but then pack in thousands of nights filled with music, dancing, laughter, raucousness, professionalism, showmanship, all done with passion plus compassion and you have the life of Bobby Rush. This book is a must read for all serious followers of the American Rhythm and Blues cultural explosion by one of its extant founders.”―Dan Aykroyd

“Bobby Rush’s I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya could be called ‘the spark of stayin' in the moment.’ Bobby’s indefatigable spirit and energy leap from the page of this delightful chronicle of a life well lived, and he is always in the moment. Bobby may be the only bluesman alive who can speak of a personal journey that extends from picking cotton in his youth to an active recording and performing career in 2021. Bobby personally knew many of the mythic artists who we think of when we explore the history of the blues. I recommend this book to any lover of the blues and any lover a good story.”―Jerry Harrison, founding member of Talking Heads

"Rush’s memoir... is frank about many things, including the reason he’s received so many standing ovations in recent years." ―New York Times

"Rush never fails to put on an electrifying performance, and his entertaining autobiography is no exception. Reading this is like sitting backstage with Rush listening to him tell story after story of his life and long career."―No Depression

"In I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya, Rush gives readers intimate access into his life and career like never before.... Bobby Rush is the American success story. Hail to the King!" ―American Blues Scene