Otis Clay to perform at Cognac Blues Passions Festival on June 30, 2015

Chicago’s king of soul from has chosen Cognac Blues Passions to celebrate his career’s 50th anniversary! BUY TICKETS NOW!


Otis Clay, originally from Mississippi, has had a musical education through listening to the radio and singing in a church choir. He arrives in Chicago in 1956 and keeps singing in gospel choirs with his ultimate group The Sensational Nightingales with whom he tours until 1965. That year, under the influence of the singer Harold Burrage, he does his first entry into the industry with a series of superb vinyls for the One-Derful label. The company’s sinking forces him to join Atlantic’s franchise, Cotillon Records. In 1971, he joins the Hi label from Memphis under the name of Willie Mitchelle at the side of southern soul artists. This collaboration gives him great success and during the 70’s more than one title is sent to the hit parade. In 1975 he creates his record label, Echo Records, and moves into the old offices of King Records in Chicago. This is the opportunity for him to produce sessions where soul and gospel are thrown in together and gives him success: Messing With My Mind, Victim of Circumstances or even If I Could Open Up My Heart.

When Otis Clay comes on stage, magic is in the air. The audience realizes quickly that it will be watching an exceptional artist. Musical walls are definitely broken by a man that never cheats. His incredible class is leveled with his simplicity and accessibility. Otis Clay is one of the living icons of the great soul musical genre. His link with Cognac Blues Passions makes him come back to the Charente town, and it is with honor that we welcome him back.