Blues legend Bobby Rush to be ‘Dr. Rush’ with honorary degree from Rhodes College May 15

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Blues legend Bobby Rush to be ‘Dr. Rush’ with honorary degree from Rhodes College May 15

John Beifuss/Memphis Commercial Appeal
Musician Bobby Rush soon will be able to add the title “Dr. Rush” to a list of informal accolades that includes “King of the Chitlin’ Circuit” and “International Dean of the Blues.”

The ever-upbeat Mid-South blues legend who has contributed such observations as “I’m not henpecked, I’ve just been pecked by the right hen,” “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, too” and “She must have a booga bear up under there” to the cultural discourse will be this year’s recipient of the Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Rhodes College, the school announced Thursday.

“I’m on cloud nine, man,” said Rush, 87, in a phone interview from his home in Jackson, Mississippi. “This means everything to me.”

Known for his bone-deep authenticity, his outrageous stage show and a string of recordings that began in 1971 with “Chicken Heads” and continued over the decades with such memorable titles as “I Ain’t Studdin’ You,” “Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man” and “Booga Bear,” Rush will receive the degree May 15 during the college’s commencement ceremony at the Liberty Bowl.

The honorary degree puts a celebratory exclamation point on a rough year that found the tireless concert road warrior not only cooped at home due to the novel coronavirus but battling COVID-19 at an early stage in the pandemic.
“Feb. 28, I was the first man I know of in Mississippi who came down with it, but God embraced me and put his hands around me and brought me out of it,” Rush said. “This was one of the worst years I ever had since I was chopping cotton in a cotton field.” …Find full story here

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