Otis Clay began singing bass in a group called the Christian Travelers with a brother, cousin, and two nephews here in Waxhaw in 1946. The Clay children worked the family farm and went to school at the church that was just a few yards from their home. The Clays moved back and forth from Waxhaw over the years, living also in Clarksdale and later in Muncie, Indiana, where Otis sang with another family group, the Morning Glories, and with a local quartet, the Voices of Hope. By 1956 he was singing with the D. Z. Jackson Chorus at his grandfather’s church in Chicago, and after one more trip back to Waxhaw, he returned to Chicago to stay in 1957. As his
Clay’s public move into soul music came in 1965 at One-derful! Records, a Chicago label owned by another former Mississippian, George Leaner. With hits on One-derful!, Cotillion, Hi, and Kayvette Records, most notably the 1972 Hi single “Trying to Live My Life Without You,” Clay established himself as a quintessential performer in the genre that came to be known as “deep soul.” In its sincere, gospel-rooted style and in Clay’s warm and uplifting approach, his secular music was often not far removed from the religious songs he continued to sing in churches and gospel concerts. His crowd-pleasing, inspirational live performances won him new audiences at blues clubs and festivals and at enthusiastic soul music gatherings in Japan, Europe,
Erected 2010 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 117.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 11, 1942.
Location. 33° 55.2′ N, 90° 58.015′ W. Marker is in Waxhaw, Mississippi, in Bolivar County. Marker is at the intersection of Hofstra Road and Waxhaw Road, on the right when traveling south on Hofstra Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gunnison MS 38746, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Grace Episcopal Church (approx. 5.6 miles away); To Memorialize Bolivar County's First Two Brick CourthousesRosedale (approx. 5.7 miles away); Rosedale Courthouse (approx. 5.7 miles away); Hot Tamales and the Blues (approx. 5.8 miles away); Mildrette Netter (approx. 6.1 miles away); Christmas Mound (approx. 10.4 miles away); Decker-Malatesta Post 0113 (approx. 11.6 miles away).
Also see . . . Wikipedia article about Otis Clay. (Submitted on May 27, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 27, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.