Born Emmett Ellis Jr. in Haynesville, Louisiana, Bobby Rush arrived in Chicago at a crucial turning point for the blues. Old enough to have played with Elmore James and Boyd Gilmore, but young enough to roll with younger R&B-leaning cats like Syl Johnson and Lee Shot Williams, Rush found middle ground between soul's phrasing and he blues' low-bottom arrangements. The first decade of his musical career went to largely unrecorded, as Rush made good, steady money bandleading at the Bourbon Street club on Chicago's Rush Street. His first real splash came under the tutelage of Mel London, with whom he cut "Sock Boogaloo" b/w "Much Too Much" for Starville, who later leased it to Checker. From there, Rush went on a tear, issuing a clutch of of sides on ABC, Salem, Sedgrick, and Jerry-O before hooking up with former Vee-Jay A&R man Calvin Carter.