I Can’t Take ItFat Possum
***OTIS CLAY made most of his best-known records in Memphis during the early ‘70s, but he’s still universally hailed as Chicago’s deep soul king. In a city filled to overflowing with legendary blues artists, Clay has become the proud standard-bearer for Chicago’s enduring soul tradition. Like so many of his contemporaries, Clay’s intense vocal style reflects a gospel background. He made the secular jump in 1965, signing with Chicago’s One-derful Records and issuing a series of gospel-tinged soul records that were a lot grittier than the customary Windy City soul sound. Clay inaugurated Atlantic’s Cotillion subsidiary in 1968 with a supercharged cover of the Sir Douglas Quintet’s “She’s About a Mover,” produced by Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals shortly before the singer joined forces with Hi Records boss Willie Mitchell. With the relentlessly driving Hi Rhythm Section in tow, Clay waxed his biggest seller in 1972, “Trying to Live My Life Without You,” later covered very successfully by Bob Seger.