Tribute to Otis Clayby Representative Danny K. Davis
Posted on 2016-01-12
DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to
Mr. Otis Clay, an outstanding international artist who lived, worked,
and was intimately involved in the North Lawndale community of Chicago,
which I am proud to represent.
Otis Clay was born in Waxhaw, Mississippi, and ultimately made his way to the west side of Chicago, where he made his home.
Otis began his musical career as a gospel singer and, like many other artists, switched over to rhythm and blues and recorded his first hit in 1967, ``That's How it is When You're in Love,'' which reached number 34 on the national charts.
Otis performed and recorded in Europe, Japan, and Switzerland. Although Otis Clay reached national acclaim, he continued to live in the North Lawndale community, was a regular at local churches, festivals, and community events. He established his own recording studio, owned a local cleaners, and was known as a regular in the community.
I was fortunate to have Otis Clay attend and perform at many events that I sponsored over the years, and it was indeed an honor to be able to call him my personal friend.
Otis was involved with the Tobacco Road Project and was instrumental, along with Alderman Dorothy Tillman, in establishing the Harold Washington Cultural Center in the Third Ward on the south side of Chicago.
My neighborhood and our world community has lost a great artist and entertainer, but also a great human being. I extend condolences to his family. I know that, when the gates swing open, Otis Clay will come walking in.