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Otis Spann sheet music: One of Otis Spann’s best known classic piano blues. Listen to the recording below.
Spann’s father was reportedly a pianist called Friday Ford. His mother Josephine Erby was a guitarist who had worked with Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith, and his stepfather Frank Houston Spann was a preacher and musician. One of five children, Spann began playing piano at the age of seven, with some instruction from Friday Ford, Frank Spann, and Little Brother Montgomery. By age 14, he was playing in bands in the Jackson area. Big Maceo Merriweather mentored the young musician after his arrival in Chicago in 1946. Spann performed as a solo act or teamed up with guitarist Morris Pejoe, working a regular spot at the Tic Toc Lounge.
Spann replaced Merriweather as Muddy Waters’ piano player in late 1952, and participated in his first recording session with the band on September 24, 1953. He continued to record as a solo artist and session man with other musicians, including Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf during his tenure with the group. He stayed with Muddy Waters until 1968.